Electric Vehicle Technologies, one of Russia’s leading designers of electric vehicle technologies, has completed the design of a new electric traction motor.
This electric traction motor is unique as it is a synchronous motor without permanent magnets, which representatives of the company said is the only one of its kind.
“Currently, there are two main types of traction motors in the world: asynchronous, which is installed on Tesla electric vehicles, and a permanent magnet synchronous motor which is typical for the majority of electric vehicles, built by global automakers, including Toyota, Honda, and some others,” said Ilia Fedichev, technical director of Electric Vehicle Technologies. “However, [this one is] unique, being a synchronous motor without permanent magnets. There are currently no analogues to it in the world.”
This motor is important because it may create the conditions for a broader production of electric and hybrid electric vehicles within Russia.
In recent years, some Russian businessman have announced their plans to start commercial production of EVs in the country, however, due to the lack of production of some crucial component such as engines and traction motors, such plans have been suspended. Most of the EVs in Russia are imported.
Benefits of New Technology
Now, this system could be installed on hybrid electric vehicles in the Moscow city government, according to recent statements of the company and an official spokesperson of the Moscow city government, which controlled implementation of the project.
The new power unit, which the company calls the DVIT 40, has one of the highest power ratings among its analogues available in the global market: 10,000 rpm with an efficiency of 93%, according to Fedichev.
However, despite such high performance figures, the new unit is very compact and costs 2.5 times less than the majority of its analogues, Fedichev added.
The new power unit has already been patented by its developers. It is constructed on the basis of synchronous thrust. In terms of its power specifications, the new engine is similar to a two-liter diesel engine and is recommended for the installation on vehicles weighing up to three tons.
Its drive includes an internal combustion engine, a traction motor DVIT 40 with a control controller. Due to its specific design, the power unit allows movement on the internal combustion engine and the electric motor.
It also provides an opportunity for simultaneous use of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor, as well as using the internal combustion engine as a generator.
The new 40 kW engine can reach speeds up 120 km p/h. It also includes a block of lithium batteries that will be supplied by Rosnano, the Russian monopoly in the field of nanotechnologies.
“It is made of iron and copper, while all of its parts are produced in Russia,” said Alexey Fursin, head of the department of science, industrial policy and entrepreneurship of the Moscow city government. “This makes the new power unit one of the cheapest in the world. It can easily withstand overheating and peak loads up to 80 kW with a nominal of 40 kW.”
The traction motor weighs approximately 99 pounds and is roughly 9 x 13 inches big.
During its serial production it will cost only about RUB 80,000 (US $1,200). This is significantly lower in some of its western analogues: the Swiss MES 40 kW engine, which weighs around 214 pounds and is 19 x 9 inches big, and is priced at about $3,000, and the Chinese CMLA28 from Shenzhen Greatland Electrics, which weighs about 120 pounds, is 24 x 17 inches big, and comes with a price tag of $3,100.
Application of the Technology
However, Fedichev noted that asynchronous motors are not very suitable for passenger cars.
“We need large starting currents to move it,” said Fedichev. “Therefore, at the beginning of work, it needs a power of 300 kW, and then it drives on a power of 30 kW. In fact, a very expensive motor justifies its price only at the start, after which the level of its utilization significantly declines. It is good for working at a constant speed, and if you want to change it, you need to install special control systems. And the second minus of the ‘asynchron’ is a strong warming up of the rotor.”
Synchronous motors have no such flaws, but another major weaknesses: permanent magnets. This type of magnet limits the speed of the rotor, and the movement of the car.
In addition, the price of these magnets is high, as they are made of rare earth metals, the mining of which is monopolized by China.
Commercial production of the new power unit will start in the second quarter of 2019, according to a spokesperson of Electric Vehicle Technologies.
According to some sources close to the designers and Skolkovo, production will probably be carried out at the capacities of one of the production facilities, operated by Rosnano in central Russia.
Most of future output will be supplied to Western markets, along with Asia Pacific region. The deliveries to the domestic market will be insignificant at the initial stage, taking into account a lack of EV production in Russia.
In the case of the domestic market, an interest to the new development has already been expressed by Russia’s flagship domestic automaker AvtoVaz, which plans to install it on its Lada Vesta hybrid.
Planned production volumes will be announced later this year. The volume of production will depend on the level of the demand for the new power unit, according to designers. They plan to reach full design capacity within the year.
Electric Vehicle Technologies also plans to start commercial production of more powerful version of DVIT-40.
Its design has already been completed, and the new development will be marketed under the DVIT 150 brand name. It will have a power of 150 kW, and weigh about 550 pounds. It will be intended for buses and trucks weighing up to 20 tons.