BOSTON, June 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Electric traction motors may have originally been developed in the 1800s, but the market continues to evolve today, with the growing electric vehicle (EV) market providing new technologies, opportunities, and demand. IDTechEx has been writing research reports about electric traction motors in electric vehicles since 2012, but each year there are new developments that continue to surprise and impress.
In recent years there has been an increased focus on the materials used for electric motors as well as the underlying topology. Some are looking to improve features such as power and torque density with acquisitions related to axial flux motors, while others are looking to become more cost-effective and sustainable by reducing or eliminating rare earths. In an ideal world, both of the above could be achieved simultaneously, but in reality, there is often a trade-off to be made. IDTechEx’s latest iteration of “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles 2024-2034” takes a deep dive into motor technology, market adoption, material utilization, and market forecasts.
Materials and Rare-earths
A key consideration for the EV motor market is that of magnetic materials. From 2015-2022 the share of permanent magnet (PM) motors in the electric car market remained consistently above 75%. Rare-earth magnets continue to be a concern in 2023 due to their supply chain being constrained to China and the prices starting to rise drastically again in 2021 (like they did in 2011/2012). To avoid these concerns, several European OEMs have opted for magnet free designs, including Renault and BMWs adoption of wound rotor motors and Audi’s use of induction motors. In 2023, Tesla announced its next-generation motor would be a PM machine without rare earths, further bringing the focus to alternative magnetic materials such as ferrite magnets and the challenges they pose to mass adoption.
For example, many OEMs have steadily reduced rare earth content in their PM…