Tech Features

The EV raw materials crunch: How bad, how long, how to solve it?

This article originally appeared in Issue 60: April-June 2022 Subscribe now Every new technology must overcome a series of temporary constraints on its way to widespread adoption. Since modern EVs appeared a decade ago, they’ve motored past many of these bottlenecks, (or hurdles, or roadblocks—pick your preferred metaphor). Range has increased, access to charging infrastructure has expanded,… Read more »

A closer look at brushed AC motors in EVs

Everything old is new again: BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive features a wound-field synchronous AC motor Brushed DC (and AC/DC universal) motors are much maligned for a number of reasons, but one of the chief—if, perhaps, somewhat exaggerated—complaints is that the graphite brushes, and the segmented copper commutator they ride on, wear out over time, all the while producing… Read more »

ONE’s hybrid battery pack combines the best aspects of two chemistries to deliver 600 miles of EV range

Q&A with ONE CTO Dr. Steven Kaye. There is a wide range of characteristics that describe the performance of any given battery chemistry: energy density, specific energy, specific power, discharge efficiency, self-discharge rate, cycle life, calendar life, and—not the least important—cost.  Some types of Li-ion chemistries are really good in a few characteristics but fall… Read more »

How a motor’s operating speed, torque and control strategy affect its efficiency

Second only to power output, efficiency is one of the most fudgeable ratings that applies to traction motors for EVs (right up there with capacity and cycle life claims for Li-ion batteries…). For common 3-phase industrial AC motors, most of the specmanship shenanigans have been dealt with by NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), a voluntary… Read more »

Britishvolt wants to build battery gigafactories around the world

Battery “gigafactories” are under construction all over the world—and none too soon. As EV sales grow, it is critical to establish local battery production and shorten supply chains. However, state-of-the-art cell packaging and chemistries are evolving quickly these days. How will cell manufacturers future-proof their cell production facilities? How flexible will these new plants be… Read more »

A closer look at minimizing charging losses: The charger (Part 2)

In the previous article, we looked at the various losses incurred on the AC side of the circuit while charging an EV’s battery (from the breaker in the load center to the EVSE inlet on the EV), as well as things that could be done to minimize them, either by the OEM, the electrical contractor… Read more »

Infinitum Electric brings its PCB stator technology to EV motors

Infinitum Electric says its axial flux motors with printed circuit board stators offer weight reduction, cost reduction and efficiency gains. Batteries are getting a lot of media coverage these days—they represent a rapidly-developing technology that’s seen as the key to the electrification of transport. Motors, however, are considered a fairly mature technology, and the humble… Read more »

A closer look at minimizing AC charging losses: From the breaker to EV (Part 1)

It’s fairly well known by now that EVs cost far less per mile to drive than their closest ICE counterparts, and the main reason is simply that the EV drivetrain is far more efficient at converting its stored form of energy into motion. In the quest to improve efficiency even more, the focus tends to… Read more »

Nth Cycle says its electroextraction tech significantly reduces transportation costs for Li-ion battery recycling

Refining the circular economy for battery materials. As the e-mobility transition accelerates, demand for critical minerals is growing exponentially. Companies on the cutting edge, such as Tesla, are already experiencing shortages. However, to extract ever more minerals by mining and dispose of the waste in landfills, would be to continue the practices that got the… Read more »

A closer look at why heat pumps are dominating EV HVAC systems

Heating or cooling the interior cabin of an EV substantially affects the vehicle’s on-road efficiency, and the HVAC system often gets the proverbial “rented mule” treatment. In an ICE vehicle—particularly an underpowered one—there is a visceral reminder that running the AC, at least, costs something, since there is a palpable hit to acceleration whenever the… Read more »