Magna receives grant to develop high-performance, low-cost electric motor

November 8, 2019

Magna receives grant to develop high-performance, low-cost electric motor
An integrated electric drive axle from Magna’s portfolio of electrified drivetrain products (Courtesy Magma Magna International of America, Inc.)

Magna International of America, Inc., based in Troy, Michigan, USA, has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) for a collaborative project with the Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The projects aims to develop and ‘auto-qualify’ advanced electric motor technologies for next-generation vehicle propulsion systems. 

As part of the project, Magna will collaborate with its partners to apply its powertrain, electronics and full-vehicle expertise to deliver an automotive-grade, high-performance electric motor that aims to achieve increased power density and reduced cost compared to current e-motors.

The objective is said to be to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density, while delivering 125 kW of peak power. The reduction in cost is achieved by eliminating the use of rare-earth permanent magnets, which make up a significant portion of electric-motor cost.

The project will reportedly integrate the electric motor technologies with a transmission and inverter as part of an overall e-drive system. Magna states that the project scope includes the development and use of innovative materials, cooling technologies, winding technologies, simulation models, and control and optimisation techniques. The developed electric motor technologies will be presented to the DoE for evaluation in 2021.

Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna, commented, “Magna’s mission is to make the impossible possible by solving some of the auto industry’s most complex problems. Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification – supply chain sourcing and cost.”

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