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Schaeffler enters motor-making with a portfolio for EVs

23 September, 2019

Schaeffler is entering electric motor manufacturing with a family of modular motors aimed at electric vehicle applications. The motors, in ratings from 20kW to more than 300kW, at voltages from 48 to 800V, are being designed for efficiency and a good price/performance ratios. Volume production is due to begin in 2021.

Schaeffler says that it plugged the last remaining gap in its technology portfolio – stator production – when it bought the winding specialist, Elmotec Statomat, at the end of 2018. It says it now has the expertise in mechanical components, manufacturing processes and winding technologies needed to enter full production of motor systems.

“Understanding and mastering transmissions, electric motors, and power electronics is an art in itself”, explains Dr Jochen Schröder, head of Schaeffler’s E-Mobility business. “Making a functioning overall system and powertrain out of all these things is another. We are experts in both.”

Schaeffler plans to produce motors for hybrid drive systems that need to run at the same speed as the internal combustion engines, as well as axle drives for all-electric vehicles that have to run at speeds of up to 20,000 rpm. For hybrid drives, it will using a distributed winding technology called bar wave winding, that was developed by Elmotec. This can be used, for example, to produce 137mm-long 125kW motors that deliver 310Nm of torque.

Schaeffler’s portfolio of EV motors will include machines for use in hybrid systems

Bar wave winding will also be used to produce axle motors for all-electric vehicles operating at voltages up to 800V and with power ratings of 300kW or more. These high-efficiency, high-power-density motors will have large numbers of stator grooves to reduce temperatures and to deliver rotating fields with low harmonics.

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