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Nextgen EV components: High efficiency and low cost electric motors for circularity and low use of rare resources (2ZERO)


Electrical machines are a fundamental part of zero emission powertrains for all classes of road vehicles, but the target of this topic is the core market (with powertrains of 50-120kW continuous power).

Proposals are expected to address all the following:

  • Increasing primary efficiency, in particular by widening the high efficiency area and compactness, for example through topology or operational improvements, inclusion of increased features in integrated solutions, analysis of performance aspects over the machine-in-system life-cycle.
  • Demonstrate the following specific targets (percentages with respect to automotive state of the art in 2020):
    • Continuous power densities >23kW/litre and >7 kW/kg or continuous torque densities > 50Nm/litre and >20Nm/kg, for the complete motor including its cooling, allowing global performance optimisation specific for the category and type of vehicle;
    • A 20% reduction in losses during typical vehicle operation;
    • A reduction in the use of rare resources by 60%;
    • Unit cost for the complete motor at mass production levels (100.000 units/year) < 6€/kW;
    • A recyclability rate >60%, or demonstrating the possibility of “functional” recycling of critical raw materials by repurposing magnets without extracting the single rare elements, thus keeping a higher share of the value.
  • Increase high system voltages offering new opportunities for readdressing the current versus voltage trade-offs, throughout the vehicle systems and in aspects of the recharging infrastructure, duly considering potential impacts.
  • Guarantee the heat rejection of high energy density motors through multiphysics models in order an optimal design (use of rare resources, reduction in losses, high efficiency).
  • Novel manufacturing process supporting increased integration, enabling, amongst other things, improved thermal control.
  • The use of alternative architectures and materials to the currently used rare earths-based magnets and configurations. Recyclability plus life-cycle environmental impact aspects need to be considered, aiming at the best compromise with other performance parameters to reach the stated outcomes. If composite reinforced materials (CRM) are included in the design, the development of processes for the economic recycling of at least 60% of any rare materials needs to be included: only this additional work will justify the use of up to EUR 2 million of the expected EU contribution.
  • The proposed motor concepts are expected to comply with automotive standards, given the normal dynamic and duty-cycle requirements, reliability, EMC etc. The proposed concepts should consider the motor (integration of electronics, excluding their development at component level), and integration of any related transmission. The concept has to be validated through representative duty-cycle evaluation, as a minimum on the test bed or, optionally with minimum-change integration, on an existing vehicle.
  • The provision of a digital-twin of the concept, in-line with current best practice modelling and simulation standards, is required.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnerships on ‘Towards zero emission road transport’ (2ZERO).