Tech Features

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 »

A closer look at power factor correction

Power Factor Correction (PFC) used to be something that electronics manufacturers only grudgingly added to a product – usually because of complaints about breakers tripping prematurely, or to meet regulatory requirements in the EU – but these days PFC is showing up in more and more products. While one should never underestimate the ability of… Read more »

From rapid prototyping to EV production with Pi Innovo’s M560 OpenECU

When you see the name Pi Innovo, your first thought might be of the famous mathematical constant that begins with 3.14. If you read it too quickly, you might be reminded of Pinocchio, the delightful tale of a physically deformed puppet. But from now on, when you see Pi Innovo, here’s what you should think… Read more »

Making a motor: Many automakers rely heavily on third party motor-winding experts like Odawara Engineering

Electric motors are everywhere: in household appliances, in hand tools, in buildings, in consumer electronics, and increasingly in automobiles. Motors are used in windshield wipers, power windows, throttle controllers, and, more and more, in the drivetrains of electrified vehicles. Electric motors abound, and Odawara Engineering knows how to make them. Charged spoke with Odawara’s Chris… Read more »

Bel Power Solutions sees strong growth in industrial electrification and its auxiliary power products

When many people think of electric vehicles, they imagine sleek passenger EVs like the near-quintessential Tesla Model S. However, EVs are by no means restricted to consumer use. As more and more industries move towards electrification, more and more industrial EV solutions will be needed. Bel Power Solutions is a power conversion product provider that… Read more »

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 »