Electric Motors for Vehicles Grows Bigger

26 December, 2012

The value of the market for military electric vehicles will increase over 20 times untill 2022, as military forces buy battlefield hybrids

Small EV motors will become only 25% of the electric vehicle motor market

Better Place's saloon car manufavtures by Renault
Better Place’s saloon car manufavtures by Renault

The Electric Motors Industry for Electric Vehicles change its focus, and pay more attention to bigger motors for bigger cars. A new market research of IDTechEx for the years 2012-2022, found out that industry stands on a verge of change.

Today, half of the money spent on traction motors for electric vehicles concerns very small vehicles such as mobility scooters and power chairs for the disabled, mobile robots in the home (mainly in Japan), golf caddies, sea scooters and two wheelers with 34 million e-bikes alone sold worldwide in 2011. At all, 92% of electric vehicle traction motors are currently needed for small vehicles.

Big vehicles tomorrow
But those small EV motors will become a mere 25% of the electric vehicle motor market value in 2022 as the big vehicles with  big motors, become very successful. For example, the value of the market for military electric vehicles increases over 20 times as military forces buy battlefield hybrids. The bus market buys huge numbers of large hybrid versions and the electric car market will see a nearly six fold growth in market value over the coming decade. All this turns the world of traction motors on its head.

Different motors needed
The electric motors that are required are becoming much higher in power and torque. For example, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle AUV – like a torpedo but making its own decisions – can push 400 kW, a large forklift or bus delivers 250-350 kW per motor but cars typically need up to 70kW per motor. A low-cost electric bicycle offers about 0.25 kW motor.

At the large end, torque from the traction motor is up to 6000 Nm yet only 0.2 to 0.5 Nm is needed by many two wheelers and mobility vehicles for the disabled. The heavy end is territory where the asynchronous motor is winning now that its performance has improved and the cost of the control electronics has been got under control.

For example, the Heavy Industrial category refers to heavy lifting as with forklifts and mobile cranes and here IDTechEx finds that 89% fit asynchronous motors otherwise known as AC induction – brushless traction motors with no permanent magnets. Around 63% of military vehicles and 52% of large buses fit asynchronous motors on our analysis of 212 electric vehicles, past, present and planned.

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