Tech Features

Top circuit protection requirements to consider when designing an automotive battery pack

Littelfuse helps the auto industry navigate new electrical engineering challenges When engineers design a battery pack, they tend to focus first on its core functionality and value proposition. For a high-end energy storage device, those core attributes are typically things like total pack energy density, cost minimization, packaging efficiency, peak power and state-of-the-art thermal management…. Read more »

A closer look at film capacitors

Plastic film capacitors relentlessly continue to take over many of the duties in EV power electronics that were once performed by the venerable aluminum electrolytic type, mainly because film capacitors exhibit much lower losses and have a much longer operational lifespan, especially at ambient temperatures in the 75-85° C range. The tradeoff is that film… Read more »

Tecnomatic helps automakers design specialty assembly processes for advanced stator technologies

There seems to be an endless array of electric motor topologies, architectures, and configurations. Among the many design choices that engineers face is the shape of copper wire that is wound in the stator. In a new paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, researchers compared using flat wire hairpin winding and stranded… Read more »

Wildcat sorts through the avalanche of new battery materials to find the best

As automakers and cell manufacturers begin to realize the complexity of benchmarking new battery materials, Wildcat Discovery Technology is using its high-speed R&D technology to help find clarity   If you follow battery technology news on a regular basis as we do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of new announcements. There are… Read more »

Between the wheels: AxleTech goes electric

Can a company that’s 100 years old be called a startup? Mary Petrovich, Executive Chairman of AxleTech, certainly thinks so. AxleTech was founded in 1919 as Wisconsin Custom Built Axles, and has seen a century’s worth of sales, acquisitions, and rebrandings since then. Petrovich herself brought AxleTech back from the brink of failure not once,… Read more »

Tesla’s top motor engineer talks about designing a permanent magnet machine for Model 3

Most mainstream EVs from major automakers have used some form of permanent magnet traction motor technology, with two high-profile exceptions: Tesla’s Model S and Model X both use induction motor technology. Internet engineering forums are full of compelling arguments for using both technologies in vehicles, as well as loads of speculation on what drove Tesla… Read more »

Ionic Materials emerges as a leader in solid-state batteries by focusing on polymer science

Mike Zimmerman, CEO and founder of Ionic Materials, has this to say about his company: “Ionic will play a major role in the solution to the world’s energy problems.” That’s a pretty bold statement. But then again, Mike Zimmerman is a pretty bold man. An experienced polymer scientist, Zimmerman has worked on a number of… Read more »

A closer look at energy consumption in EVs

When it comes to factors that affect energy consumption in EVs, the big kahunas are weight and wind resistance (aka CdA), but there are other factors that can have a surprisingly outsized effect and that tend to be overlooked, such as the use of climate control (AC, of course, but especially heat). Conversely, one factor… Read more »

The Goldilocks zone: Calienté explains that battery pack heating is just as important as cooling

In the eyes of an EV driver, the success of the battery is measured in a completely binary way: does the battery last the life of the vehicle, or not? In fact, the best praise you can give any battery – whether in your laptop, phone, or EV – is not to have to think… Read more »