Unique Mobility Awarded DOE Contract to Develop HEV and FCV Motors

July 09, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Unique Mobility Inc. (UQM, Golden, CO) has been awarded a two-year, $750,000 contract from the US Department of Energy to continue development of a modular line of high-performance motors for hybrid-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles under the Small Business Innovation Research Program.The award stems from the successful completion of an initial study and evaluation contract where the company was able to demonstrate the feasibility of innovative heat removal concepts that allow for significant improvement in the weight, size and output power of the company's permanent magnet motors. The current project will focus on the application of the cooling techniques to a new modular design of permanent magnet motors that is expected to improve the continuous power output of the company's motors and generators by approximately 25 percent without increasing the size or weight of the machine. According to UQM, this new modular design can be configured to a number of output power levels and applications using many of the same motor components which will allow for lower tooling investments and manufacturing costs."This project is a significant step in our ongoing strategy to continuously advance the efficiency and performance of our permanent magnet motor technology," said Jon Lutz, UQM's director of engineering. "We expect to not only advance the state-of-the-art of permanent magnet motors and generators, but to also focus on design for low cost manufacture which will be increasingly important as automotive companies begin volume production of hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles."