Special Feature 2020 - Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Contributing to the Spread of EVs
To address climate change issues, which are becoming increasingly severe, the use of electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the most effective measures that both companies and households can implement. In response to the continuously growing expectations of the international community, the Nidec Group contributes to the spread of EVs by reducing the price and improving the quality of traction motors, which are the heart of EVs, and traction motor systems, taking advantage of technologies that it has cultivated.
Case 3 Compact and Powerful traction Motors that
Accelerate the Electrification of Vehicles
There is currently a pressing need to make various EV systems more light-weight, compact, and highly effective toward the further penetration of EVs. In particular, a major theme is technological innovation in traction motors, which serve as the engines of EVs, and their peripheral equipment, which controls motor drive.
Since 2010, the Nidec Group has engaged in the traction motor business based on its wealth of knowledge about in-vehicle and small precision motors. Consequently, we developed an E-Axle traction motor system integrating a motor, an inverter, and a gearbox. This integrated traction motor system comprised of a motor, which is a delicate electronic component, and a gearbox associated with vibration, features great compactness and light-weight. For instance, the Ni 150F series models for B-segment electric vehicles* have achieved a weight of 87 kg, with the motor volume being about half of the same output-level products provided by competitors. Another strength of this system is that a new cooling system uniquely developed by us enables the motor to rotate with high efficiency and at a high output in spite of its compact size. This traction motor system has begun to be mounted on various models of vehicles.
* B-segment EVs are those with an overall length of 3,750 mm to 4,200 mm, and ordinary compact cars fall into this category.
Traction motor system “E-Axle” Ni 150 F series
For a Future Where the Use of EVs Are Common
To realize the decarbonization of society, which is a common global issue, the spread of EVs is indispensable. We planned to develop compact and light-weighted next-generation traction motors which have high efficiency that enables EVs to stably run a long distance and which can provide automotive manufacturers with the freedom to design vehicles.
It is necessary to develop highly efficient motors to enable EVs to stably run a long distance. Nidec has adopted a two-way oil cooling system unique to it to allow for the realization of ideal heat management.
To promote the spread of EVs, it is necessary not only to develop environmentally friendly EVs, but also to lower the price of EVs to enable consumers to easily purchase them. Accordingly, we have completely sought to increase the quality of our motors as well as to reduce their cost, and have realized a low-cost Axle traction motor system by integrating three components —a motor, a gearbox, and an inverter —and attaining the miniaturization of the system. The price of EVs is significantly affected by the cost of in-vehicle motors. If in-vehicle motors come down in price, the price of EVs also drops. Developing low-cost and highly efficient in-vehicle motors promotes the development of EVs and has a profound impact on the spread of EVs.
We are planning to further develop the E-Axle traction motor system, which is just a module, in the future. We will propose not only the E-Axle traction motor system as a single item, but also the entire vehicle platform, consisting of batteries, chassis, and other modules, to automotive manufacturers. Moreover, we will advance the development of the E-Axle traction motor system to make it more compact and light-weight, aiming to offer more than our competitors. Through such development, we would like to accelerate the spread of EVs and make the use of EVs common worldwide to contribute to the decarbonization of society.