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Types of motors for electric cars

Types of motors for electric cars

Over the past decade, the automotive industry landscape has undergone a significant transformation thanks to the advancement of electrical technology.

Electric motors have emerged as a promising alternative to internal combustion engines, driving innovation and the adoption of more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

In this article, we will explore the different types of electric motors used in modern electric cars and how they are changing the transportation landscape.

Types of electric motors

Electric motors are the heart of electric vehicles, converting electrical energy stored in batteries into mechanical energy to propel the vehicle.

Here is a description of the most common types of electric motors used in the automotive industry:

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Alternating Current (AC) Motors:

These motors use permanent magnets mounted on the rotor to generate a rotating magnetic field. By feeding the stator with three-phase alternating current, a stationary magnetic field is induced that interacts with the rotor field, generating movement.

These motors offer high efficiency and a wide operating speed range, making them a popular choice for many high-end electric vehicle manufacturers.

Variable Reluctance Alternating Current (AC) Motors

Variable reluctance AC motors use the magnetic reluctance of ferromagnetic materials in the rotor to generate motion.

Magnetic reluctance is a property of ferromagnetic materials that causes them to resist magnetic flux. In a variable reluctance motor, the rotor is composed of ferromagnetic materials that have the ability to change their magnetic reluctance when exposed to a magnetic field.

When the motor stator is powered with alternating current (AC), a rotating magnetic field is created that interacts with the rotor. The way the ferromagnetic materials in the rotor respond to this changing magnetic field is what generates the motion. That is, the magnetic reluctance of these materials changes as the stator's magnetic field rotates, causing the rotor to also rotate.

Unlike permanent magnet synchronous motors, these motors do not require permanent magnets in the rotor, which can reduce costs and simplify design.

Brushed Direct Current (DC) Motors

These motors use brushes and commutators to reverse the direction of current in the rotor, generating a rotating magnetic field.

Although they are less common in modern electric vehicles due to their lower efficiency and higher maintenance, they can still be found in some older models or specific applications.

Brushless DC Motors

Brushless DC motors eliminate brushes and commutators, using control electronics to switch current in the stator. This results in higher efficiency and longer life compared to brushed DC motors.

Switched reluctance synchronous motors

These motors combine the characteristics of synchronous motors and reluctance motors. The rotor is made up of protruding iron poles that generate a reluctance torque. Switching is achieved by varying the magnetic flux, resulting in good efficiency and higher power density.

Presence in the international market of each type of engine

The market share of each type of engine can vary depending on multiple factors in a very short space of time.

However, below we provide a table with a general estimate based on historical trends:

Electric motor type

Estimated percentage in the international market

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Alternating Current (AC) Motors

40% - 50%

Variable Reluctance Alternating Current (AC) Motors

10% - 20%

Brushless DC Motors

20% - 30%

Brushed Direct Current (DC) Motors

5% - 10%

Switched reluctance synchronous motors

5% - 10%

It is important to keep in mind that these percentages are approximate. Additionally, the market share of each type of electric motor can change over time as technology advances and new innovations are developed in the automotive industry.

Engines used by car brands

The adoption of electric motors has been embraced by a variety of market-leading automotive brands. From Tesla to Nissan, companies are betting on electric technology to drive the future of mobility.

Below is a table summarizing some of the car brands and the types of electric motors they typically use:

Brand

Engines

Tesla

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Nissan

Variable Reluctance AC Motors

Renault

Brushed DC Motors/Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors

BMW

Brushless DC Motors

Chevrolet

Switched reluctance synchronous motors

Audi

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Jaguar

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors / Brushless DC Motors

Hyundai

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Come on

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Ford

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Volkswagen

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Mercedes-Benz

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Porsche

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

Volvo

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

MG

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors

WORLD

Permanent Magnet Synchronous AC Motors / Variable Reluctance Motors

Table 1: Car brands and their electric motors

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Data de publicació: April 8, 2024
Última revisió: April 8, 2024