Vitesco Technologies to launch range of rare earth-free electric drive axles

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Powertrain manufacturer Vitesco Technologies is set to launch a range of externally excited synchronous electric machines (EESM) that do not require the use of rare earth metals and which are specifically designed for long-range, fast driving on highways.

The company notes that permanently excited synchronous machines (PSM) are the current standard in vehicle electrification. This is due to their high efficiency in city traffic or at medium ranges. However, it suggests that the general requirements for electric drives are changing: the range of battery electric vehicles is increasing, and on real long-distance routes with fast highway driving, externally excited synchronous machines (EESM) hold an advantage as at high speeds they are more efficient than PSMs.

In addition to efficiency at high speeds, externally excited motors avoid issues related to the price of permanent magnets, which have now risen to a 10-year high. In addition, the COfootprint of the drive is reduced due to there being no need for mining of rare earth materials.

Vitesco says that is preparing a portfolio expansion that will make EESM technology available on its already successful axle drive which incorporates power electronics.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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