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Electric vehicle motor sales will hit $2.8bn by 2020

10 July, 2013

Global sales of motors used to drive electric and hybrid vehicles will grow from $965m in 2013 to more than $2.8bn by 2020, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

“While sales of battery electric vehicles are increasing, the growth is slow and steady rather than exponential,” says senior Navigant research analyst, David Alexander. “That will lead to a similar growth curve in the electric vehicle motor market, which is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.6% over the next seven years.”

Since General Motors introduced its EV1 battery-powered vehicle in the mid-1990s, car-makers have favoured alternating current (AC) motors. Existing motors for other industrial applications have so far not met the exacting standards of automotive production, says the report.

Although numerous new companies have sprung up to develop interesting AC motor alternatives that could disrupt the industry in the future, almost all car-makers have so far chosen to invest in producing their own motors, relying on permanent magnet or AC induction designs.

Navigant points out that motors cannot be chosen in isolation, and that controller and associated power electronics affect the choice of motor. 

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