Tech Features

Regenerative braking: A closer look at the methods and limits of regen

All motors are generators, the old saying goes, with the caveat that few types are equally good at both modes of operation, and some are downright awful as generators (a classic example being the single-phase shaded pole induction type, used in myriad small appliances the world over). Fortunately, both types of AC motor commonly used… Read more »

Charge like A supercap, store like a battery: ZapGo’s carbon-ion technology

Imagine an EV that could add 300 miles of range with a 5-minute charge – roughly the same amount of time it takes to refuel an ICE vehicle. Many companies are working on technologies to enable faster charging, which would be a huge win for EV adoption. ZapGo, based in Oxford, UK and Charlotte, North… Read more »

A closer look at DC-DC converters

As far as we know, all EVs in production by major automakers use a conventional lead-acid battery for the 12 V system (surprising, but true – more on why in a bit) and this battery needs charging, just as it does in an ICE vehicle. While you could hang an alternator off the traction motor… Read more »

Heraeus helps companies learn to use cutting-edge materials to improve EV electronics

In addition to sophisticated new material solutions, Heraeus offers engineering services to customers to help bring next-generation products to market faster and increase the overall module reliability. When it comes to making the most efficient EVs possible, materials matter. Nobody knows that better than Heraeus, a German-based technology group that has a stake in global… Read more »

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 »

A closer look at contactors

Contactors may not be the sexiest component in an EV, but they are critical both for safety and general functioning. Basically a heavier-duty version of the relay, a contactor is used to switch power to any of the loads supplied by the traction battery in an EV. The motor drive, the heating and cooling systems,… 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 »