Oxford YASA Motors and Sevcon in engineering joint venture for integrated motor and controller package for EVs and HEVs

Oxford YASA Motors and Sevcon have formed a new business alliance for the development of a new integrated electric motor and controller package. The companies are collaborating to integrate the YASA direct-drive motor (earlier post) with the new Sevcon Gen 4 (earlier post) Size 8 400V controller for use in global EV and HEV automotive applications.

The integrated package will allow previously separate components to be replaced by a single, compact two-wheel drive solution offering the highest combined torque-to-weight available of more than 30 N&iddot;m/kg (13.6 N&iddot;m/lb) from a package that will sit in the volume typically required for a differential.

The Yokeless And Segmented Armature (YASA) topology is a new type of axial flux motor that features a very high specific torque (torque-to-weight ratio), a high efficiency (typically up to 95%) and the possibility for low cost manufacturing. The topology is based around a series of magnetically separated segments that form the stator of the machine. The step change in the specific torque of the motor (30N&iddot;m/kg is typically at least 2-4 times better than the best alternatives, according to the company) comes from the combination of patented improvements in the magnetics, the cooling and the packaging of the motor.

The YASA motor has achieved good market acceptance since the company was formed in 2009 with sales growing quickly and validation testing progressing well, the company says. In February, Oxford YASA Motors and Oxford Brookes University secured more than £100,000 (US$160,500) of UK government funding from the Technology Strategy Board for a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership intended to improve the production potential of the YASA motors. Using advanced materials and joining technology, the project will aim to reduce manufacturing time and the cost of materials.

The YASA/Sevcon collaboration will be led by Mike Dowsett as the Vice President of Business Development working for Oxford YASA Motors, with reporting responsibility to both Nick Farrant, and Matt Boyle, President & CEO of Sevcon.

Prior to joining Oxford YASA Motors, Dowsett successfully led global and multi-disciplined engineering teams at Visteon, FEV and most recently at Controlled Power Technologies, where he steered the CPT SpeedStart product development (stop-start systems).

Oxford YASA Motors Limited is Oxford University’s 65th spin-out company. The company was created to commercialize the intellectual property originally developed on the YASA motor by the Energy and Power Group (EPG).

Sevcon is a designer and manufacturer of microprocessor controls for electric vehicles. The controls are used to vary the speed and movement of vehicles, to integrate specialized functions, and to optimize the energy consumption of the vehicle’s power source. Sevcon’s new Gen4 range of advanced controllers is designed to control either AC asynchronous motors or PMAC synchronous motors.


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