Lightweight Motor Technology Helps Electric Vehicles Travel Farther
New electric motor tech from Infinitum Electric is 50% lighter and smaller than traditional motors and can extend the range of EVs and other mobility platforms.
An Expanding Role for Electricity in a Carbon-free Future
As the global economy decarbonizes to address climate change, platforms continue to turn to electricity as the primary motor driver for industrial equipment, cars, buildings and other applications. Size, weight and efficiency are particularly important for mobile platforms like electric vehicles (EVs) to meet their range and cost targets. Tackling this need head-on, Infinitum Electric has developed an innovative air-core motor with superior energy density that enables longer ranges, fewer batteries and lower costs for EVs.
Infinitum Electric, Innovating on Electric Motor Performance
Based in Round Rock, Texas, Infinitum Electric was founded in 2016 and holds multiple patents that form the basis of its lightweight, axial air-core motor design. According to the company, more than 800 million new conventional electric motors are installed around the world each year, consuming over half of the world’s electricity. And this number is increasing by 10% per year.
Already used in industrial applications, like fans and pumps, and at half the weight and size of traditional motors, the Infinitum motor brings a strong value proposition for EVs and other mobility platforms. A lower vehicle weight means fewer batteries are needed to meet range targets, which can have a significant impact on manufacturing costs, affordability and energy efficiency.
From CEO Ben Schuler, “As industrial equipment, cars, aircraft and buildings are rapidly electrifying, our revolutionary motor systems offer a path forward to reduce electricity demand and carbon footprint."
EV motor application. Image used courtesy of Infinitum Electric
PCB Stator Key to Reduced Motor Size and Weight
Motors are fundamental to an electricity-based economy, converting electrical energy to physical motion based on the interactions of current flows and magnetics (generators move energy in the opposite direction). Unlike traditional motors, Infinitum’s air core motor does not use heavy iron and copper windings in the stator (non-rotating part of the motor).
Instead, copper coils are etched directly onto the PCB stator, allowing for a motor with a size and weight that is 50% less than traditional designs. Along with size and weight, other benefits of removing iron include reduced stator hysteresis and eddy current losses, or in other words, improved motor efficiency i.e. more physical output per unit of electrical input. Or, more vehicle range per unit of battery energy in the case of EVs.
Within the motor modular design, the PCB stator resides between the front and back rotors. The magnetic flux goes from one rotor to the other with no iron in the magnetic flux path.
Motor and PCB stator break out. Image used courtesy of Infinitum Electric
The PCB stator is easy to manufacture using standard circuit board design techniques and can be built worldwide.
Infinitum just announced the close of its Series D funding round with $80M raised from lead investor Riverstone Holdings and participation from Resource Partners, Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, and existing investors. Founded in 2000, Riverstone Holdings, LLC is an asset management firm that invests in the private markets primarily within energy, power and infrastructure. The firm has raised over $40 billion in capital since its inception.
Why Are Their Motors Red?
Along with standing out from the pack, the color red was chosen by founder and CEO Ben Schuler as a representation of being different and challenging the status quo. Not to mention, Mr. Schuler is a proud redhead.