Tech Features

A closer look at rare earth permanent magnets

Rare earth magnets have gotten a lot of coverage in the EV press over the years for being expensive – especially back in 2011 when a supply disruption in China sent the prices up anywhere from fivefold for neodymium to 20-fold for dysprosium over the course of a few months – yet they are still… Read more »

Mitsubishi Electric increases reliability of automotive power modules with direct lead bonding

Much as humans need a heart to distribute energy throughout our bodies, EVs need a heart to transfer energy from their batteries to their motors. This “heart” of an EV is called a power module, and it’s responsible for driving the vehicle’s propulsion unit as efficiently as possible. Considering the critical importance of power modules,… Read more »

Alta Motors says its electric dirt bike has world-class energy density

Alta Motors claims that its dirt bikes have a battery pack with energy density that’s among the highest of any production vehicle. With help from Scheugenpflug’s custom production equipment and Wevo-Chemie materials, the motorcycle builder says its thermal design was the key to achieving that. Seven years ago, a group of motorcycle and off-road dirt… Read more »

MSC’s laminated steel and aluminum will reduce noise and vibration while cutting mass

When it comes to EVs, every pound matters. There is a direct relationship between a vehicle’s weight and the requirements of its expensive battery back, so automotive engineers will explore every possible measure to reduce vehicle mass. However, one of the ways that engineers have traditionally achieved desirable properties in the domain of Noise, Vibration,… Read more »

The technical reasons Tesla would limit supercharging speed, and other practical charging considerations

Recently, a bit of a kerfuffle kicked up when a Tesla Model S owner noticed that the maximum charge rate for his car on the Supercharger network had suddenly been cut from 120 kW down to 90 kW, apparently the result of too many fast charge cycles. Tesla’s explanation was, essentially, that many things can… Read more »

LORD is developing a rotary band brake aimed at automotive thermal management systems

“Any product that uses less power and has high torque in a small package could be of interest to the EV space,” LORD’s Edward Conner told Charged. We were discussing the company’s electromagnetically actuated rotary band brake technology, and we naturally asked a lot of questions about its potential applications for EVs. The core of… Read more »

Carpenter Technology develops a new soft magnetic alloy with key benefits for EV motors

Electrical steels are soft magnetic materials found at the heart of electric motors. They’re typically manufactured in cold-rolled strips, cut into shapes to make laminations and then stacked together to form the stator and rotor of a motor. These specialty steels are tailored to produce certain magnetic properties, and have a magnetic flux density (key… Read more »

Tesla’s chief motor engineer discusses the potential of next-generation motor technologies

Tesla spends a considerable amount of resources on basic research into EV systems – as well it should. EV technology is very young compared to that of ICE vehicles, so it’s safe to assume that, in a few short years, the aggregate of many incremental technology advances could lead to significantly better EVs. Of course,… Read more »

Southwest Research Institute consortium conducts independent battery benchmarking

Comparing the spec sheets from different parts manufacturers is tricky business for engineers in any industry. However, the advanced battery market seems to be uniquely challenged in this regard. As Tesla CEO Elon Musk often points out, when it comes to batteries, the BS factor is outrageous. Even if you assume that every vendor provides… Read more »

Wolfspeed launches a new silicon carbide MOSFET for EV inverters

Wide Bandgap (WBG) semiconductor technologies have attracted a lot of attention and research funding in the past decade. Both public and private institutions around the world have been obsessed with accelerating the evolution of WBG tech into commercial power electronics applications. What’s all the fuss about? WBG materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium… Read more »