Updated: Oct 25, 2021
The video is almost as good as the end product by Tim Woolmer and backed by Mercedes-Benz! Game-changing technology is rare yet this is real and coming to an EV near you!
Q: What was different about the engine you came up with?
A: We started with a blank sheet of paper at the beginning of my PhD. And the idea was to say, what could be created for the electric car industry in 10 or 15 years from now that they would need, that we could meet. Something that was lighter, more efficient, mass-producible in volume. In the 2000s, axial flux motors were not very common, but by combining axial flux technology and making a couple of little tweaks using some new materials, I basically stumbled into this new design which we call YASA: Yokeless And Segmented Armature. It takes what is a light topology in axial flux and makes it even lighter, about half as much again. There’s a benefit because the rotors are rotating at a bigger diameter. So, essentially torque is force times diameter, so for the same force, you get more torque. So if you double your diameter, you get double the torque for the same amount of materials. So that’s the benefit of axial flux.
Q: You’ve done this with deal with Mercedes – what’s next?
A: We are basically a fully owned subsidiary. We’re going to utilize Mercedes’ industrialization powerhouse. But the key thing is, if you watch how technologies filter down in automotive, they start in the luxury sector, like the Ferraris of this world, and then filter down into mainstream sector and then go into higher volumes after that. That’s a space where Mercedes are world-class in terms of their industrialization, so that’s the kind of the idea behind the partnership.
Q: What else can you do from here?
A: We will have a very high, high power, low density and lightweight engine so we can explore sport performance coupled with high levels of industrialization. That puts us in a really unique position for all sorts of things.