All electric cars may use the same engine

The big challenge is to build a unique platform that serves different classes of hybrid and electric cars. [Image: Drivemode / Disclosure]

Generic propellant

In pursuit of increased efficiency and lower costs, the auto industry has shown an interest in avoiding the mistakes and problems of its first century, based on internal combustion engines.

Taking advantage of the migration to electric motors, efforts have focused on creating basic motorization platforms from which different car models can be built by each company.

This is precisely the purpose of the Drivemode project , funded by the European Union.

The multi-institutional team is developing a scalable, distributed, integrated transmission module (IDM) for all types of mass-produced electric and hybrid cars, from light-duty vehicles to high-performance utility vehicles.

At their last meeting last month in Brussels, Belgium, the team has proven to have reached a critical point in their research and development: they have discovered ways of integrating a high-speed gearbox (achieving 97% efficiency around the (75kW, 100Nm and more than 20,000rpm) and a SiC inverter (20kHz switching, 140A rms current) in efficient and economical transmission modules.

The next step is to start building and testing the propulsion modules. [Image: Drivemode / Disclosure]

Integrated propulsion module

The main advantages of the integrated module come from reduced material usage, simplified installation and optimum synergy between components. In addition, the distributed power concept opens the door to a unique design to fit a variety of vehicles.

The next step will be to start manufacturing these modular cars.

Among the goals set for this next stage are achieving a 30% increase in specific torque and power, a 50% increase in electric motor speed, an increase in voltage (800V) to further reduce the materials used and a 50% loss of materials, and faster battery recharging.

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