New electric traction motors from Mahle
By Mike Brezonick22 August 2022
Global powertrain supplier Mahle announced the development of a new electric motor technology that will be officially unveiled at the IAA Show next month.
The new Superior Continuous Torque (SCT) E-motor incorporates a new cooling concept that allows it to be operated at high load for a virtually unlimited period. The new motors are scalable across a broad range of applications from passenger cars to commercial vehicles to off-highway equipment such as construction machines and tractors.
The new motors are lighter than earlier motors and can be assembled without the use of rare earth materials by customer request, the company said.
“Building large electric motors that deliver short-term high performance is easy,” said Martin Berger, vice president Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering at Mahle. “What was still lacking on the market until now were durable yet compact drives to make electric vehicles unrestricted for everyday use. Our new SCT E-motor is the solution.”
The SCT E-motor is designed in such a way that it is particularly efficient within a certain speed range. Despite its compact and light design, its continuous output is more than 90% of its peak output. This high ratio allows the use of electric vehicles of all kinds even under demanding conditions, such as an electric truck over mountain passes.
The motors incorporate an integrated oil cooling system that Mahle said renders the units more robust and allows for the waste heat generated to be used elsewhere in the vehicle system. In addition, its compact design results in advantages related to cost of materials and weight, as a lighter motor requires less material during manufacture and increases the possible net load in commercial vehicles.
In designing the new motor, Mahle said it opted for a permanently excited motor, as it can be more compact, efficient and wear-free. Neodymium magnets, currently the strongest permanent magnets available, are used to generate the magnetic field in the motor. However, to achieve greater independence from raw material prices and geopolitical developments, the SCT E- motor can also be designed without magnets for greater independence. Thanks to a proprietary contactless transformer developed by Mahle, the magnet-free variant can also be wear-free and run efficiently, while only requiring slightly more assembly space.