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Devon motor-maker wins Swiss scooter order worth £500,000

26 April, 2011

A small Devon motor manufacturer has picked up an order for 1,000 permanent magnet DC motors for use in a range of electric scooters being built by a Swiss company. The order, from vonRoll infratec, is worth £500,000 to Honiton-based Lynch Motor Company (LMC), boosting its turnover by about 25%.

The high-power-density pancake motors – rated at 8.5kW and operating at up to 3,000 rpm – are being used in an electric scooter called the vRone (shown above) which has a top speed of 100 km/h and can travel for 70km before needing a recharge. The motors will be delivered over a two-year period.

“Previously, electric scooters have lacked power and longevity and these are two factors that the vRone has been designed to overcome,” explains LMC managing director, Trevor Lees. “In conjunction with vonRoll infratec and Quantya AG, we believe we’ve created a unique, powerful electric scooter with a top speed and maximum range that represent a first for the industry.”

Lees reports that he is talking to other potential customers for his motors including Japanese companies who are interested in using them in two-wheeled vehicles and an Italian company which is talking about building 500 lightweight electric cars, each of which would need two motors.

Lees says that the Italian project is looking “very promising” and if it takes off, he would probably recruit three or four people to add to the 12 who already work for LMC. Lees says that there has also been interest from other sectors, including using the machines as generators. The axial-gap machines, available in peak ratings from 3–34kW, operate with efficiencies of up to 91% and are said to have long brush lives.

LMC has been building motors for more than 20 years, based on the novel designs of the inventor Cedric Lynch, who parted company with LMC several years ago and now works for an Indian company, Agni Motors, which is producing motors to a similar design. Agni claims its motors offer a higher torque per amp and a lower speed per volt than the LMC versions, allowing simpler transmissions to be used in some applications.

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