Japanese electric motor company Nidec has developed two smaller versions of its fully-integrated traction motor system, E-Axle. It has also announced a new short-range radar that doubles as a proximity sensor for automatic parking systems.
Nidec first introduced the E-Axle system in April 2018 as a 150 kW system, composed of an integrated electric motor, reduction gear box, and inverter. Nidec says Chinese EV maker GAC has adopted the E-Axle for its Aion S supercar, which the company plans to launch in May 2019.
Nidec is now adding 100 kW and 70 kW versions to its lineup, in an effort to cover the A, B, C, and D segments under the Euro Car Segments system, which includes mini cars up to large vehicles. The 100 kW and 70 kW models weigh in at 54.5 kg (120 lbs) and 48 kg (105 lbs) respectively, much lighter than the original model’s 83 kg (183 lbs).
The new automotive radar is a short-range radar that uses an antenna with a waffle-iron structure to reduce waveguide loss. To prioritize either range or resolution, the radar can switch between 77 GHz for driving at regular speeds and 79 GHz for driving at lower speeds. Nidec says this removes the need for additional ultrasonic sensors that would be necessary for low-speed short-distance applications like automatic parking, which can lead to cost reduction and wider detection angles.
Kazuya Hayafune, Nidec’s Chief Engineer and Deputy Executive General Manager, said, “With these three models we cover 90 to 95% of the market for passenger vehicles. As far as I know, we are the first company to announce something like this.”