Tech Features

Gigavac launches new PCB-mounted contactors

It’s a common theme across the EV industry: Today many OEMs are designing their second- and third-generation EV platforms, and there is a strong push to increase packaging efficiency across the board, driving out every possible bit of cost. In the past few months, we’ve written about GM’s decision to attach the power electronics directly… Read more »

Q&A with Tesla’s lead motor engineer (Full Interview)

The principal motor engineer at Tesla describes why modeling and optimization is so vital to its design process. Creating a start-of-the-art electric vehicle requires a deep understanding of all the components. More importantly, it requires a continual process of analysis and optimization of the components to push the limits of driving range, efficiency, performance and… Read more »

Can Tanktwo redefine the battery pack with big data?

A Finnish-American start-up with ambitious goals wants to change how we think about batteries. The concept of an EV that supports the quick removal and replacement of a discharged battery pack was all the rage about 5 years ago. Since then, however, various systems have been attempted and subsequently abandoned by companies like BetterPlace, Renault,… Read more »

Paraclete Energy says its low-cost silicon nanoparticles can at least double your current anode capacity

Silicon has a theoretical charge capacity ten times higher than typical graphite. That is why a mind-blowing number of researchers are working towards replacing more and more of the graphite used in today’s lithium-ion battery anodes with silicon. In the last issue of Charged, we discussed Tesla’s announcement that it had begun to use small… Read more »

Tesla tweaks its battery chemistry: a closer look at silicon anode development

In mid-July, Tesla Motors made a trio of Model S update announcements. The new options included a 70 kWh rear-wheel-drive base model, an upgrade for the high-end battery pack from 85 to 90 kWh (providing about a 6% increase in range), and Ludicrous mode, which offers a 10% improvement in the car’s 0 to 60… Read more »

A closer look at torque ripple – minimizing its effects on electric machines

The Switched Reluctance Motor, or SRM, is often discussed as a prime choice for the next-generation EV traction motor. It is simple, robust, and arguably the least expensive of all motor types to manufacture. However, SRMs are notoriously difficult to control, and prone to emitting significant amounts of vibration and acoustic noise. The good news… Read more »

Dana kicks copper to the curb in favor of all-aluminum cooling products for EVs

In 1982, the US Mint made the practical decision to change the composition of the penny coin from 95% copper/5% zinc – an alloy you know as brass – to 97.5% zinc with copper plating. Inflation had pushed the price of copper in a penny above one cent, and zinc was significantly less expensive and… Read more »

UQM Technologies grows from pioneer to power player in vehicle electrification

With its integrated electric propulsion systems spreading across the globe in all conceivable vehicle types, UQM Technologies could be called the biggest little company in the EV industry. Over the past few years, the company seems to have entered its prime, as in one of those TV commercials where a deep, authoritative voice tell us… Read more »

Human-machine interface experts on the nuances of displaying and interacting with EV data

Few have been working on human-machine interface (HMI) design for EV drivetrains as long as Brian Gallagher and Kevin Coelho. In 2007, Gallagher joined the startup Aptera Motors as employee number three. Shortly after, Coelho joined him as the seventh addition to the California company, which was building ultra-efficient three-wheeled electric vehicles. Five years later,… Read more »

Wildcat Discovery Technology creates new experiments to accelerate battery research

The pulse of the industry: Wildcat Discovery Technology is at the forefront of battery research, solving problems and accumulating insight. When Charged wants to catch up on the newest trends in cutting-edge battery technology, there are a few companies we turn to for insight. At the top of the list is a group whose high-speed… Read more »