Mitsubishi Motors Unveils World’s Smallest Electric Traction Motor With Built-In Inverter

FEB 16 2014 BY MARK KANE 12

Mitsubishi Electric announced a new motor drive system with a built-in silicon-carbide inverter, which – according to the Japanese company – is the the smallest of its kind found anywhere in the world.

Thanks to integration and the use of new materials, Mitsubishi Electric plans to commercialize its EV motor system that will take less space in a vehicle, while offering greater energy efficiency.  Mitsubishi says it first must finalize technologies for motor/inverter cooling and that further downsizing and additional efficiency is being explored.

1)     Downsized motor drive system with integrated all silicon-carbide inverter
–    Achieves further system downsizing (14.1L, 60kW) with smaller motor resulting from improved thermal resistance between motor drive system and cooling system.
–    Equal to existing EV motors in power and volume, enabling replacement.
2)     Improved motor cooling performance
–    Integrates cooling system for motor and inverter thanks to cylindrical shape of power module accommodating parallel cooling ducts for motor and inverter.
–    Ensures stable cooling with even a low-power pump.

In Mitsubishi Electric’s opinion, future electrified cars will need smaller drivetrains to offset the size of the battery pack. We know that Tesla Motors uses an integrated motor, controller and single-speed gearbox in one block placed at the rear axle. Such a solution works fine and with future improvements, maybe this sort of setup will become the new standard for EVs.

“Global demand for EVs and hybrid EVs (HEVs) has been growing in recent years, reflecting increasingly strict regulations for fuel efficiency and growing public interest in saving energy resources and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. As EVs and HEVs require relatively large spaces to accommodate their robust battery systems, there is a strong need to reduce the size and weight of motor systems and other equipment to ensure sufficient passenger space.”

Categories: Mitsubishi


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12 Comments on "Mitsubishi Motors Unveils World’s Smallest Electric Traction Motor With Built-In Inverter"

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They’d better do more than 60kw if they want to use it in many EVs. I doubt it will see any use in a PHEV because PHEVs usually have the motor integrated into the transaxle.

Maybe put one on each end, AWD?

one on each wheel, now you’re talking.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

If they can scale it up to 100kW and put one at each corner, sans transaxle (just different reduction gears F/R), it’d be pretty sweet..

Yep, that seems reasonable. One driving the front wheels and one driving the rear wheels.

In which case for iMiEV type cars, 30kw per motor or so is fine.

Given that the i-MiEV has a 49kW motor, this 60kW motor would be quite an upgrade.

The thing here is the small size of the entire unit, especially the inverter. Units of this size can be serially connected shaft to shaft to double torque. That would be 120kws in a much smaller space.

Outlander PHEV (7 seats) is 60kW at each axle…….
ZOE is 60kW at Front axle…..
imiev is 47/49kW at Rear axle

its a good size for large AWD, or a small RWD/FWD

I don’t think too well in liter volume, so I did a conversion: 14 liters is about 10″ x 10″ x 8.5″ — which is relatively compact, but I don’t think that this is that big a deal but for the integrated inverter, and frankly I don’t know if I care, but for the possible advantage in keeping all of one’s cooling business in 1 tidy place.

I would have two in the front, one for each wheel.
This gives front drive and independant traction and also leaves more place in the back for batteries, a rex and a gas tank.

The tesla motor is the future and its will use in all cars