Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - 6

TECHNOLOGY
REPORT
PROPULSION
Wheel-hub-motor innovations in 'flux'
Saietta AFT wheel
hub drive mounted
on a skateboardtype
EV chassis.
SAE INTERNATIONAL
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Srinivasa (Sri) Srinath, Ph.D
President
Todd Zarfos
2023 President
Jeff Hemphill
2021 President
Susan Ying, Ph.D
Vice President - Aerospace
Daniel Nicholson
Vice President - Automotive
Michael Weinert
Vice President -
Commercial Vehicle
Andrew Jeffers
Treasurer
David L. Schutt, Ph.D
Chief Executive Officer
Gregory L. Bradley, Esq.
Secretary
The packaging and design of electric motors
has, not surprisingly, come under scrutiny in
recent years as the pace of vehicle electrification
has accelerated. Wheel hub motors
[https://www.sae.org/news/2021/07/makingthe-case-for-in-wheel-motors],
once dismissed
as too costly and dynamically problematic for
most automotive applications, are increasingly
back in focus for EV use. Vehicle developers
recognize that hub motors offer advantages -
particularly in all-wheel-drive applications. And
hub motors tend to favor the packaging advantages
offered by axial-flux motor designs.
The compact dimensions of axial-flux motors
make it far easier to package in a hub-mounted
application. In addition, the more-powerful axial-flux
designs are larger in diameter than
comparable radial-flux motors, offering a packaging
advantage in line with wheel dimensions:
Small-wheeled vehicles such as scooters need
smaller, less-powerful motors, while the larger
wheel diameters of trucks and buses parallels
the larger diameter and more powerful motors
needed for these vehicles.
U.K.-based axial-flux motor designer and
producer Saietta recently bought the Dutch
6 March 2022
supplier of electric drivetrains and high-voltage
power electronics, e-Traction, from the Chinese
Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group. " I was
in Slovenia and suddenly a lot of Dutch friends
started texting, " Electric motor company about
to go bankrupt in Holland, " noted Saietta CEO
Wicher (Vic) Kist. This was shortly after Saietta
had been listed on the London Stock Exchange,
following earlier investment from the U.K.
Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
" I thought, 'This is an opportunity,' " Kist told
SAE Media. " I flew the entire M&A [mergers
and acquisitions] team over that delivered the
Saietta IPO and four weeks later, we signed " ,
Kist said. " What I found is it's almost like the
brother we didn't realize we had. Fifty-five
people, very similar to the U.K. team and power
electronics, electromagnetics and especially on
the power electronics side, an inverter. "
Saietta had developed an axial-flux technology
(AFT) motor in response to British rival
axial-flux motor designer YASA, which was
acquired by Mercedes-Benz in July 2021. Since
e-Traction produced an 800-V inverter, it neatly
fulfilled Saietta's need for one. The acquisition
also added e-Traction's e-axle technology
Judy Curran
Rhonda Walthall
Joan Wills
SAE International Sections
SAE International Sections are local
units comprised of 100 or more SAE
International Members in a defined
technical or geographic area. The purpose
of local Sections is to meet the technical,
developmental, and personal needs of the
SAE Members in a given area. For more
information, please visit sae.org/sections
or contact SAE Member Relations Specialist
Abby Hartman at abby.hartman@sae.org.
SAE International
Collegiate Chapters
Collegiate Chapters are a way for SAE
International Student Members to get
together on their campus and develop
skills in a student-run and -elected
environment. Student Members are vital
to the continued success and future of
SAE. While your course work teaches
you the engineering knowledge you
need, participation in your SAE Collegiate
Chapter can develop or enhance other
important skills, including leadership,
time management, project management,
communications, organization, planning,
delegation, budgeting, and finance. For
more information, please visit students.
sae.org/chapters/collegiate/ or contact
SAE Member Relations Specialist Abby
Hartman at abby.hartman@sae.org.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
SAIETTA
https://www.sae.org/participate/membership/sections https://www.sae.org/news/2021/07/making-the-case-for-in-wheel-motors https://www.sae.org/news/2021/07/making-the-case-for-in-wheel-motors https://www.sae.org/participate/membership/collegiate-chapters

Automotive Engineering - March 2022

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