While most of our attention is focused on batteries (their capacity, energy density and charging time), progress is seen also in other areas, like electric motors.

According to Adamas Intelligence, the average peak power of the electric drive unit in passenger xEVs (BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs) was in September 2019 112.1 kW. That is some 4% more than a year earlier.

Sure, we would be happier having stats like median and narrowed down to only BEVs and PHEVs, but let's start with an xEV average.

The highest motor power in the passenger xEV category was noted in Norway (181.1 kW), where a high ratio of BEVs affects the average. The lowest values (62.2 kW) is in Japan where HEVs are most popular (with a small addition of PHEVs).

"At the high end of the global average, the sales-weighted average motor power in Norway amounted to 181.1 kW in September 2019 on account of the high-proportion of BEVs and PHEVs sold in Norway relative to HEVs – the latter of which often have less powerful motor-generators than the former.

At the other end of the spectrum, the sales-weighted average motor power in Japan amounted to 62.2 kW in September 2019 due to the dominance of HEV sales in Japan’s market relative to BEVs and PHEVs."

In recent years, we see more often that all-electric cars are equipped with 100+ kW electric motors. The high-end models can get a few hundred kW of power (single or 2/3/4 motors).

Further analysis says also that the majority of motors are permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) or some other type of motors usually with neodymium permanent magnets.

Adamas Intelligence estimates that some 1.2 kg of NdFeB magnets needs to be used per 100 kW of electric motor power.

"During production of this 1.2 kg of NdFeB magnets, Adamas estimates that an additional 0.4 kg of NdFeB alloy is diverted to waste streams during casting, crushing, milling, sintering, cutting, grinding, coating and inspection of the final magnets, and as such, a total of 1.6 kg of NdFeB alloy is consumed per 100 kW of peak motor power."

Source: Adamas Intelligence, Green Car Congress

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