Ricardo, a global engineering, strategic and environmental consultancy, has developed what it says is a low-cost 85-kilowatt (kW) electric motor.

The prototype was made without rare earth elements and was designed and built specifically for electric vehicles. The synchronous reluctance electric motor uses a conventional distributed stator winding, but has a somewhat simple construction. The rotor is made to optimize performance with cut steel laminations which direct and focus the flux across the air gap and maximizes the flux linkage between stator and rotor.

“As the market for electric vehicles grows globally, there is an imperative to explore alternatives to permanent magnet traction motors which require the use of expensive and increasingly difficult to source rare earth elements,” says Ricardo hybrid and electric vehicle systems managing director, Paul Rivera.

Ricardo built and designed the prototype as part of a collaborative effort with Jaguar Land Rover and Cobham Technical Services.

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