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Faster, Further, Lower Cost, Greener

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23.11.2021

Faster, Further, Lower Cost, Greener

Why AEM’s motors outperform the rest of the market

AEM’S UNIQUE MOTOR TECHNOLOGIES

Background

AEM’s electric motors are unlike anything else on the market, offering a unique approach to achieving sustainable traction. HDSRM and SSRD traction motors eliminate rare earths, are uniquely recyclable and offer vehicle range improvements over competitors.

This blog describes how AEM’s motors allow customers to go Faster and Further whilst being Lower Cost and Greener.

FASTER

How AEM’s high speed motor technology enables very high-performance vehicles

AEM’s SSRD traction motor is designed to operate at 30,000 revolutions per minute, significantly faster than any motor currently in volume automotive production.

This rotational speed was originally selected as it was shown to form the basis for the most cost-effective possible EV powertrain, however experience has now shown that it can also enable the world’s highest performance electric cars.

Work with partner Bentley has shown that SSRD will allow a high-performance electric vehicle to operate up to the highest speeds without a need for a complex transmission. Removing the transmission makes the vehicle lighter and increases acceleration, to further key components of the highest performance vehicles.

FURTHER

How AEM’s traction technology allows AEM powered vehicles to go further on a single charge

A major commercial vehicle customer has reported that the expect AEM’s HDSRM commercial vehicle traction motor to increase their vehicle range by 10%.

A major passenger vehicle OEM has reported that AEM’s SSRD traction motor will extend their cars range by 15%.

Based on AEM’s modelling and testing to date, this increase in range can be attributed to several key technology factors:

  • AEM’s fundamental motor technology has inherent efficiency advantages through their physics, this is coupled with a trade secret design approach which optimises the motors to meet specific customer’s needs
  • AEM’s compressed aluminium windings reduce high speed losses in the motor, allowing the motor to operate efficiently across the full speed range
  • AEM’s ‘efficiency boost’ technology, used in dual motor systems, allows a single motor to be switched off when it is efficient to do so; this has the effect of significantly increasing the peak efficiency region of powertrain operation

LOWER COST

Why AEM’s Motor technology is inherently lower cost than the competition

Simply put, AEM’s motors eliminate the need for the two most expensive materials used in motor manufacturing; rare earth magnets and copper. As well as achieving the sustainability benefits of eliminating these materials, lowest manufacturing cost is also a significant benefit.

Rare earth magnets are the single most expensive material in a motor, with around 2kg used in a standard traction motor and costing around $100/kg as a base price. Rare earth price volatility however means that even higher base costs can be driven by market forces. However, the benefits go further than this; magnets are very challenging to handle during manufacture. Metals particles want to stick to them, hands may be injured between them, and other metals want to be magnetised by them (potentially ruining production equipment). AEM’s technology eliminates all of these problems.

Further, use of AEM’s compressed aluminium conductors reduces motor conductor costs by circa 90%.

Additionally, there are even greater benefits. AEM’s motors are designed to reduce the overall cost of the electric powertrain. The SSRD motor was initially developed as part of a programme called “Low Cost Electric Drivetrain”, designed to reduce not just the cost of the motor but the system overall. Additional savings are made by ensuring that the motor can:

  • Be driven by cost effective power electronics; SSRD uses at least as cost-effective power electronics as the industry standard interior permanent magnet motor
  • Reduce the size of the battery needed to drive the vehicle; as has already been discussed under “Further” in this blog AEM’s motors offer the potential for up to 15% increase in vehicle range
  • Operate with a lower complexity and therefore lower cost transmission; SSRD is designed to work with a simple, low cost transmission as is discussed under “Faster”.

GREENER

How AEM’s motors are designed to be the world’s most sustainable

AEM was founded in order to develop electric motor solutions which offer true environmental sustainability, something not currently offered in the market.

To achieve this AEM has taken a number of steps in order to make it products as sustainable as possible:

  • HDSRM and SSRD products do not use rare earth magnets, removing the single least sustainable material from the electric motor
  • In production, HEAD will use recycled rare earth magnets; recovered from scrap sources such as used hard disk drives, these magnets are recycled to minimise environmental footprint
  • All motors will use Aluminium Motor windings; this dramatically improves motor recyclability at the end of vehicle life by allowing the motor to be recycled as part of the standard steel recycling root. This is impossible for conventional motors as copper is a contaminant in the steel recycling process
  • AEM seeks ways to improve the sustainability of its operations. For example, waste heat is recovered from motor validation testing in order to heat the AEM factory unit