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Magna to develop and ‘auto qualify’ a more powerful and affordable electric motor

Objective is to develop an automotive-grade, non-permanent magnet electric motor for next-gen vehicle propulsion systems.

The project objective is to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density, while delivering 125 kW of peak power – similar to packing a gallon of milk into a pint-size container. The reduction in cost is the result of eliminating the use of rare-earth permanent magnets, which make up a significant portion of electric-motor cost.

“Magna’s mission is to make the impossible possible by solving some of the auto industry’s most complex problems,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna. “Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification – supply chain sourcing and cost.”

The project will integrate the exclusive electric motor technologies with a transmission and inverter as part of an overall e-drive system. The project scope includes development and use of innovative materials, cooling technologies, winding technologies, simulation models, as well as control and optimization techniques. Designing for automotive standards and low-cost manufacturing using Magna’s comprehensive design framework is another key element of the project. The electric motor technologies will be presented to U.S. DOE for evaluation in 2021.

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