New EV motor from Mitsubishi Electric increases efficiency, reduces size.

By  Domenick Yoney RSS feed

Posted from Mar 12th 2012 3:57PM

 Batteries are usually the focus of technological advances when it comes to electric vehicles, but a new product announcement by Mitsubishi Electric reminds us that is not the only EV element that can be improved. The company has unveiled a new motor design that integrates the inverter – the electronics that regulate the flow of electricity between battery pack and motor – reducing the footprint of the drivetrain and freeing up space in a vehicle’s architecture for passenger and cargo.

While less weight and size is pretty cool in itself, the new design doesn’t stop there. Using silicon carbide (SiC) in place of silicon-based chips, it cuts energy losses by more than half. Traditionally, silicon has been used for power-switching chips but SiC is more resistant to heat, so thinner chips can be used. Less material means less electrical resistance which means less energy loss.

These innovations, in addition to earlier Pokémon “Poki-poki” manufacturing processes that increased power output through improved motor winding and lamination, all add up to a propulsion system that should be worthy of some of the battery breakthroughs that are coming down the line. Now, if only Mitsubishi Motors would complement its keiretsu kin’s tech advances by developing an updated electric vehicle chassis to put it in, the tri-diamond brand might regain some of its former luster. Official press release awaits after the break.