Sona Comstar teams up with Canadian startup for magnet-less motors

by Shahkar Abidi 21 Apr 2022


Sona Comstar has formed a strategic partnership with Canada-based  Enedym Inc. to develop the next-generation  of switched reluctance motors (SRMs), electric propulsion, and electrified powertrains for the Indian market.

Under the agreement, both the parties will develop SRM drive platforms for all kinds of Indian road and usage conditions targeting the three wheeler electric vehicles, 2-wheeler high-performance motorcycles having 10kW or greater nominal power and four-wheeler cargo delivery electric vehicles having 20kW or greater nominal power.

In addition, Enedym, a Canadian startup, will license its SRM technologies to Sona Comstar for manufacturing the drive motors, controllers, and drivetrains for applications exclusively in India. The serial production of these systems is likely to commence in 2023, the company said in a statement.

Kiran M Deshmukh, Group CTO, Sona Comstar, said, "Enedym's novel switched reluctance motors with advanced acoustic noise control will help us offer high-efficiency and high-performance magnet-less motors to our discerning customers. This is an important step towards offering environmentally-sustainable and cost-effective solutions to drive faster adoption of electric mobility in India and globally."

Dr. Ali Emadi, Founder, President, and CEO of Enedym said the collaboration will effectively bridge the gap between supplying next-generation SRM motor technologies by Enedym, which require no rare earth metals, reduce cost significantly through advanced digitisation, and achieve class leading performance, with a trusted and capable partner, Sona Comstar, to supply highly engineered automotive systems and components to OEMs.

Enedym which is a technology startup incubated at McMaster University is headquartered at the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario. The startup owns over 60 patents.

Explaining the technicalities, the statement reads that Enedym has developed novel  families of next-generation SRMs with improved efficiencies, power density, and performance for varied applications. By taking the permanent magnets out, Enedym’s novel SRMs have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of propulsion motors. It offers significant additional advantages like a low-cost and straightforward structure, high efficiency at high speeds, fault-tolerant operations and suitability for operating in harsh environments and high-temperature conditions.

The development  comes just months after the Sona Comstar top leadership during an investor call on February 1 this year said the company is building some proof-of-concept prototypes which are further likely to be tested for its viability. During the call,  it mentioned that several technological challenges remain in context of cost, size and weight, amongst others.

Deshmukh of Sona Comstar, during the call, added that there are certain targets which the company's R&D team is looking to attain for the magnet-less motor in context of cost, size and weight amongst others. The company even hinted at the possibility of dropping its plan for magnet-less motors, if they are not able to achieve the desired targets.

Sona Comstar’s collaboration with Enedym is one of several steps taken in recent times for development of magnet-less motors. In October last year, its subsidiary Sona Comstar eDrive had entered into a collaboration agreement with Israel's IRP Nexus Group to develop, manufacture, and supply a magnet-less drive motor and the matching controller systems for performance two-wheelers for the global markets.

The agreement was signed on September 30 through the initiative of International Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate), a technology business incubation centre. Under the arrangement, Sona Comstar will pay one-time license fees and royalty to IRP Nexus during the term of the seven year agreement. Sona Comstar will have the exclusive rights to manufacture the system in India and non-exclusive rights to sell and distribute globally.

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Tags: Sona Comstar