Bentley Motors, Advanced Electric Machines Ltd and other industrial participants are developing a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures. The three-year Optimized Components, Test and simulatiOn, toolkits for Powertrains which integrate Ultra high-speed motor Solutions (OCTOPUS) program is expected to deliver an e-axle prototype incorporating an advanced magnet free motor, wide band gap power electronics and lightweight transmission systems by 2026, when Bentley plans to introduce its first fully electric vehicle.

The OCTOPUS initiative is also advancing a new multi-physics simulation modelling toolkit incorporating electromagnetic, mechanical, thermal and noise-vibration-harshness solvers operating simultaneously, validated by a novel x-ray analysis technique. The project additionally focuses on next generation lightweight high-performance component systems integrating emerging material and manufacturing techniques and tested at component, sub-system and system level and with an integration route into future e-axle designs.

Other partners in the electric drive R&D program include University of Bath, University of Nottingham, additive manufacturing specialist HiETA Technologies Ltd and the Diamond Light Source, the U.K. national synchrotron light source which is providing access to X-ray facilities for measurements.

The fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle is being designed to support electric vehicle architectures. Source: Bentley MotorsThe fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle is being designed to support electric vehicle architectures. Source: Bentley Motors

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