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Draper to Develop New Generation of Electric Motors

Auto Tech Outlook | Thursday, March 25, 2021

Draper to Develop New Generation of Electric Motors

Draper is presently working on the latest electric motors model and generators based on fundamentally different principles from the conventional e-motors. 

FREMONT, CA: Draper is working on a new generation of electric motors and generators based on fundamentally different principles from e-motors currently used. Underpinning the project is the latest patent on features of the technology.  

To produce torque, almost every electric motor use magnetism. For decades, engineers have known that electric field forces can be used to create motors, but these so-called electrostatic motors were believed to be extremely weak to compete with their electromagnetic counterparts.

Draper is developing highly sophisticated electric motors that break the torque barrier suffered by previous electrostatic motors by utilizing state-of-the-art materials, novel designs, and decades of fabrication expertise.

Draper's strategy to electric motors has many benefits over traditional electric motors, including significantly reduced weight, increased efficiency, greater specific power, and lower material costs. Draper's new method will benefit a wide range of electric-motor-dependent technologies, from electric vehicles to mobile defense applications like drones, and greatly expand their range and flexibility.

"Our e-motors use thin electrodes and electrets which reduce weight by 80 percent or more as compared to conventional motors. This translates to a range extension of up to 40 percent for drones and up to 25 percent for electric vehicles based on our simulations," said Sabrina Mansur, automotive business development manager at Draper. The company says its electric motors are designed without the use of rare earth materials, an important consideration in light of rising prices for these materials and reports of China's potential ban on the export of rare earth materials.

Electric vehicles, drones, robots, and other products need ever-increasing performance from electric motors, but they are constrained by the weight and cost of the materials required to build a traditional motor—steel, copper coils, and rare earth magnets. Draper's recently patented strategy to electric motors, available for licensing, substitutes thin, light, and widely available materials.

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