Axial-flux electric motors developed by YASA Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz AG, have been showcased as part of the new Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven concept car, unveiled at the Mercedes International Design Centre in Carlsbad, California, USA.
Containing a number of pressed stator cores, manufactured from soft magnetic composite iron powder, the axial-flux motors are said to offer best-in-class power and torque densities and are suitable for both hybrid and pure electric vehicle applications. In contrast to common radial motors, seen in the majority of electric vehicles today, YASA’s axial-flux motor requires one-third of the space, is one-third of the weight and delivers double the torque density.
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“YASA’s vision has always been to make electric cars as light and sustainable as possible by reducing the electric motor’s mass and use of materials – while simultaneously maximising its efficiency,” stated Tim Woolmer, YASA’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “In addition to delivering a step-change in EV performance, our axial-flux electric motor is also creating exciting new possibilities for car designers. We’re proud that YASA is a part of this truly visionary concept and are looking forward to resetting the bar for electric driving experiences.”
The typical radial flux motor has limitations on the number of times it can be driven hard. As the copper windings heat up, electromagnetic resistance increases, and the available power reduces. Moving from traditional radial designs to YASA’s axial flux design, however, enables direct cooling of the copper, thus enabling repeatable acceleration and access to peak power for the driver. Further, the axial-flux motors use 60-80% less iron and much less copper than conventional e-motors.
Markus Schäfer, a Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and the company’s Chief Technology Officer, added, “The Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven combines breathtaking design with groundbreaking powertrain technology. Like its historical namesake, it explores new paths for the future of sporting performance. At the heart of the compact and extremely efficient powertrain is the innovative YASA axial-flux electric motor.”
“[The axial-flux motor] offers a motorsport-like power output from a considerably smaller package. This makes the YASA axial-flux motor ideal for electric high-performance vehicles. Combined with the liquid-cooled cylindrical-cell battery with Formula-1 inspired cell chemistry the Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven is yet another proof point for the broad performance spectrum encompassed by our four-pronged development strategy for electric drive,” Schäfer added.
The YASA axial flux motor was also showcased in the Vision AMG, a high performance all-electric concept car unveiled in May, 2022.