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New electric motor promises not to use magnets to make electric cars cheaper

Written by Valdemar Medeiros
Published 16/01/2024 às 10:55
End of magnets New electric motor promises to shake up the world of electric cars
Photo: Reproduction

Company defies tradition and develops a new electric motor without magnets that promises to revolutionize the electric car market. Discover the advantages of this new engine.

The electric motor is a fundamental component that has been the highlight of the electric car industry. It plays a crucial role in converting electrical energy into wheel movement. There are several types of motors used in electric vehicles, such as permanent magnet induction motors and switched reluctance motors, each with its advantages and disadvantages in terms of efficiency, cost, weight, size and performance. Recently, ZF introduced an innovative electric motor that does not require the use of permanent magnets, drawing industry attention.

ZF's new magnetless motor is a strong competitor to conventional motors

According to ZF, this most developed from an externally excited synchronous motor (FSM) is an alternative to so-called permanent magnet synchronous machines (PSM). The latter are currently the most used motors in electric cars, but they are based on magnets that require rare earths to produce.

With its new magnetless electric motor, called I 2 SM, ZF wants to make electric drives extremely sustainable in production and highly powerful and efficient in operation. Global companies are working hard to develop innovative electric motors without magnets. Due to this accelerated growth in the electric car market, ZF stands out in this field.

It develops unique approaches by intelligently integrating an inductive transmitter inside the new magnet-free electric motor, resulting in a compact design.

This motor rivals in performance the conventional permanent magnet synchronous motors favored in today's electric car engineering. Martin Fischer, from the ZF Board, states that his technology replaces magnets while maintaining the same performance as synchronous motors, where the electric current generates an effective magnetic field.

Traditional electric motors are harmful to the environment

The main advantage of this new magnetless electric motor is the elimination of rare earths that are essential in traditional motors, but problematic in environmental and supply chain terms. These magnets, which come from mining, are potentially harmful to the environment and pose significant challenges.

Traditional magnetless motors, however, incorporate elements such as sliding rings or brushes to conduct electricity to the coils, which increases size, weight and friction, as well as potential wear and tear over time. For these reasons many electric car manufacturers They still prefer permanent magnet motors because they are less complicated and more efficient.

However, the development of ZF's new magnetless electric motor presents a promising alternative. These new technologies can reduce the environmental impact of electric car production and contribute to a more sustainable future in the industry.

Magnetless motors like this one, which combine efficiency and compact design, are examples of technological evolution towards more conscious and environmentally responsible engineering. 

Challenges overcome by ZF in the production of an electric motor without magnets

The design of the new magnetless electric motor faces a significant challenge, such as delivering power to rotating parts without creating friction, wear or noise. An effective solution is induction. Contactless, this technique uses electromagnetic waves to transmit electricity to coils inside the motor, without the need for physical contact or mechanical components. This eliminates the limitations of brushes or rings that take up space and reduce the efficiency of the propellers.

ZF, a leader in automotive technology, has created an innovative new contactless induction electric motor. This motor, called a synchronous motor, with inductive excitation on the rotor, has an inductive transmitter on the rotor shaft compared to motors with brushes or rings.

Its axial length is reduced by approximately 3,5 inches, so it fits where a permanent magnet synchronous motor would fit without sacrificing power or torque density. This motor known as I 2 SM outperforms a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PSM) in certain situations such as high speed driving. It operates more efficiently than PSM as it does not have permanent magnets, preventing eddy currents and heat loss. 

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Valdemar Medeiros

Journalist in training, specialist in creating content with a focus on SEO actions. Writes about the Automotive Industry, Renewable Energy and Science and Technology

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