Today, the motors that propel electric vehicles on land, through water and in the air are mainly brushless because brushed commutator motors are on the way out. Most of the number and the value of those brushless traction motors lies in permanent magnet synchronous ones, notably Brushless DC "BLDC", a form with trapezoidal waveform, and Permanent Magnet AC "PMAC", a type with a sinusoidal waveform. No matter: they both have excellent performance including simple provision of reverse and regenerative braking. However, that dominance is about to change. The main reason is not those well publicised but elusive in-wheel motors coming in at two to six per vehicle but simply the move to much larger vehicles and therefore motors.
Market value $US billion 2012-2023
Ex factory unit price of EVs, in thousands of US dollars, sold globally
It is wakeup time for the electric vehicle traction motor industry. Our survey of 123 manufacturers shows far too few making asynchronous or switched reluctance synchronous motors and larger, high power, motors with strong traction or even exceptionally light weight powerful motors. There are far too many making traction motors with brushes. In short, this is an industry structured for the past that is going to have a very nasty surprise when the future comes. Most of it is not even talking to the vehicle manufacturers that will spend most to buy traction motors in the years to come. Many think easy money comes from pursuing the obvious, notably selling to the fearsomely competitive electric car market where 90% of your customers are headed for insolvency. In China alone, there are over 100 manufacturers of electric cars and none are successful.
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