Lightweight electric motor on track

May 11, 2009
Lightweight electric motor on track
The new motor is ideal for high-performance electric vehicles.

A lightweight electric motor designed by Oxford University engineers is to power a new four-seat coupé, with track tests scheduled for the end of 2009.

Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company for Oxford University, is managing the intellectual property and commercial agreements for the electric project.

Engineering firm Delta Motorpsort are aiming to install the motor in their coupe for track tests later this year.

Dr Malcolm McCulloch of the Electrical Power Group at Oxford's Department of Engineering Science said: ‘The motor can achieve high torque for its weight, which ultimately means a smaller and cheaper motor. Torque is the twisting force that accelerates the car, and the peak torque we’re aiming for is 500Nm from 25kg.’

‘We’ve optimised the materials and design, so that the motor is lighter and more effective, giving half the volume and twice the torque for the same power output.’

Car images courtesy of Delta Motorsport.

Over 50 per cent of the world’s electricity powers electric motors, so it’s extremely important to improve the efficiency of motors.

Dr Malcolm McCulloch Nick Carpenter, technical director of Delta Motorsport has worked for F1 teams, but also programmes in environmentally related technologies and aerodynamic analysis. He said: ‘We believe electric motors are the only way forward for road cars. All road cars will be driven electrically, regardless of how the energy is stored in the vehicle.’

‘It is an incredibly exciting time for the automotive market. There hasn’t been a rate of change like this since the first few years, and we think that electric drive is going to be the one common theme. We’re delighted to have been so involved in the design of a viable, cost-effective, high torque density motor.’

The Oxford University Challenge Seed Fund is supporting the project with investment to build a prototype for use in test cars.

Dr McCulloch added: ‘The motor was developed for the Morgan Lifecar in 2008, and we now have funding to adapt it for high-performance electric vehicles, and we’re also looking at aerospace, renewable and industrial use.’

‘Over 50 per cent of the world’s electricity powers electric motors, so it’s extremely important to improve the efficiency of motors. This motor can be adapted to achieve better performance in a whole range of applications.’

Provided by Oxford University (news : web)

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User comments : 11

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ormondotvos
3.8 / 5 (5) May 11, 2009
Where's the part about efficiency? Low motor weight is one thing, efficiency in converting watts to shaft hp is another. Useless article.
PPihkala
3.5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2009
Typical politics: Lots of words, very few actual facts.
gmurphy
4.3 / 5 (3) May 12, 2009
agreed, what's the point in having a science and tech article if your not going to talk about the science and tech?
vos
not rated yet May 12, 2009
"we%u2019re aiming for is 500Nm from 25kg" is the closest thing to a fact that this piece gets
E_L_Earnhardt
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2009
Every little bit helps! Suggest diets for passengers!
3432682
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2009
Convert Nm to HP: 500 Nm = .67 HP
Motor needs about 100 times more power, at least, for a car.
Article is very fact-lite
PaulLove
not rated yet May 12, 2009
So did you know that over 50% of the worlds electricity powers electric motors, so its extremely important to improve the efficiency of motors? Since they repeat that twice in about 4 inches of text I'm wondering if this was bot generated, they think it was really important, or they simply wanted word count to reach a certain point.
LSV
not rated yet May 12, 2009
Since electric motors are already more than 96% efficient at converting electrical energy to motion, there is little room for efficiency improvement.
jshloram
5 / 5 (1) May 16, 2009
500 Newton Meters does not = any amount of HP.
Newton Meters is a "Moment of Force" not power.
Soylent
not rated yet May 17, 2009
Convert Nm to HP: 500 Nm = .67 HP


W = Nm/s != Nm.

500 Nm is about the amount of torque you can expect out of a decent sports car. The reason most people want lots of horsepower with an ICE is for the high torque(nice zippy acceleration), not for the high top speed.
Titans
not rated yet May 31, 2009
According to this calculator [1], 500 N*m = 368 ft/lb of torque. This would be an amazing feat for only 25kg of weight. The proposed 20 torque to weight ratio is far better then my ICE's 1.2 N*m/kg ratio.

And to those arguing "efficiency", lowering the overall weight of the vehicle does increase the macroscopic efficiency of said vehicle.

[1]http://www.unitconversion.org/energy/newton-meters-to-foot-pounds-conversion.html