Saturday, January 21, 2012

As Electric Vehicles Take Charge, Costs Power Down

Saturday, January 21, 2012

By Patrick B. Davis Vehicle Technologies Program Manager

The record number of electric-drive vehicles on the floor of Detroit's North American International Auto Show, which ends January 22, sends a clear message—the American auto industry is dedicated to driving innovation and delivering advanced vehicles to consumers here and around the world. We’re working with them every step of the way to help make that vision a reality. One of the keys to translating the trade show excitement around electric vehicles into widespread consumer adoption is driving down costs, and one area that continues to be a focus across the industry is reducing the cost of electric motors.

In addition to further research and development, increasing the domestic manufacturing capacity of electric motors is one of the keys to accomplishing this. Upping capacity will not only help meet growing consumer demand but also help drive down the cost of both the motors and the vehicles that use them. To help achieve this goal, DOE has undertaken a variety of projects with industry partners to find innovative ways to design and manufacture electric motors. On one such project, the department teamed with Delphi Automotive Systems in an effort to reduce the cost, size, and weight of electric motors by using patented semiconductor packaging technology. The result of this cost-sharing partnership is new packaging that is smaller, lighter weight and allows more power to be produced than previous methods. Read the full story on DOE's Energy Blog.

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