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Design, manufacturing, and validation of ecocycle electric traction motor

Project description

New electrical motor technology for the vehicle industry

To fight climate change, the transportation sector has been transitioning towards electric vehicles. Unfortunately, despite the benefits of such a move, the dependence of current electric traction motors on rare earth permanent magnet materials is costly and causes supply risk. The EU-funded VOLTCAR project will provide a revolutionary technology that allows for an impactful reduction of these materials while exceeding the state-of-art performance, cost and reliability requirements. The renewed design methodology and resulting novel high-speed motor could offer improved sustainability, allowing for circular value chains, recycling and reduced use of rare resources. Moreover, it would improve the power density of the motors and the energy efficiency of the vehicles and finally offer improved durability and lower costs.


As a response to the need to decrease the transportation related emissions and energy consumption, today, all major passenger car and other light-duty vehicle manufacturers are broadening their electric vehicle portfolio. The dependency of the present electrical traction motors on the rare materials, such as rare earth permanent magnet materials, namely Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets, is problematic from several viewpoints: they are imported and expensive and there is a real risk for supply problems in the coming years. To strengthen the European competitiveness, VOLTCAR ('Design, manufacturing, and validation of ecocycle electric traction motor') proposes high-speed, permanent magnet assisted synchronous reluctance technology with a drastic reduction in rare materials' utilisation.

During VOLTCAR, the motor prototype is perfected to meet the strictest performance requirements (power density, efficiency), sustainability criteria (recyclability, circularity and low use of rare resources and copper) and the expectations of the automotive sector (cost, reliability, integrability). This major goal is supported by introducing digital design and optimisation methodologies that are capable of assessing the life cycle costs, energy consumption, and carbon footprint in the early phase, guiding the outcomes towards maximised sustainability with reduced use of rare materials and efficient recycling and repurposing patterns. The validity of the VOLTCAR motor prototypes, 50 kW and 120 kW motor, and related technologies is proved according to the automotive standards, presenting an X-in-the-loop (XiL) experimentation environments. With this development, VOLTCAR will simultaneously lead to more green jobs in local SMEs throughout Europe to reduce unemployment rate.

The VOLTCAR consortium comprises world-leading automotive Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies and research partners with complementary knowledge and expertise for the successful execution of the proposed work.


Net EU contribution
€ 867 915,75
02150 Espoo

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Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 867 915,75

Participants (11)