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Mahle develops enduring traction motor

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Mahle’s new electric motor is unrivaled in its small size, light weight and efficiency, and can also be built without the use of rare earths at the customer’s request. The new development is suitable for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction machinery and tractors. With the “Superior Continuous Torque” (SCT) E- Motor, the supplier, whose product focus has so far been on components for internal combustion engines, sees itself becoming a full-range supplier in the field of electric drives. The company now covers the wide spectrum from e-scooters to heavy commercial vehicles, off-road and industrial applications. 

“Building large e-motors that deliver high performance in the short term is easy. What has been missing in the market so far to make e-vehicles fully suitable for everyday use have been drives that are both enduring and compact” explains Martin Berger, Head of Group Research and Advance Engineering at Mahle. “Our new SCT e-motor is the solution.”

On the engine side, Mahle believes this paves the way for the replacement of the combustion engine in all vehicle classes. As recently as 2021, the company had introduced a wear-free and scalable traction motor for passenger cars that operates very efficiently over a wide speed range. The SCT electric motor, on the other hand, is designed to be particularly efficient within a specific speed range. Despite its compact and lightweight design, its continuous power output is over 90 percent of its peak power, as measurement results show. This ratio, which is unprecedented and unique on the market, represents a technological leap forward and enables it to be used in electric vehicles of all kinds, even under demanding conditions. Classic examples include driving an e-truck over mountain passes or repeated sprints by a battery-electric passenger car. These scenarios are only inadequately covered by the e-motors available on the market to date.

This load capacity is achieved in the new SCT e-motor through the use of an innovative integrated oil cooling system, which not only makes it robust, but at the same time enables the waste heat generated to be used in the vehicle’s overall system. The extremely compact design also results in a material cost and weight advantage – a lighter motor requires less material to manufacture and at the same time increases the possible payload in commercial vehicles.

When designing the product, Mahle opted for a permanently excited motor, as this design allows for a very compact construction and no energy needs to be transferred to the rotor as excitation current. This makes the motor efficient and wear-free. Neodymium magnets, currently the strongest permanent magnets that can be produced, are used to generate the magnetic field in the motor. However, for greater independence from raw material prices and geopolitical developments, the SCT electric motor can also be built without magnets. Even in the magnet-free variant, it would operate wear-free and efficiently thanks to the unique contactless transformer developed by Mahle, while taking up only slightly more installation space.

The motor will be shown at the IAA Transportation 2022 trade fair (September 20 through 25, Hannover, Germany)

www.mahle.com

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