News Release Article from  National Research Council of Canada

National Research Council, TM4, and Rio Tinto team up to create high efficiency electric motors

June 17, 2016 – Boucherville, Quebec

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The National Research Council’s Vehicle Propulsion Technologies program assists Canadian automotive manufacturers to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines, powertrains and the use of electric and fuel cell propulsion.

Canadians are increasingly looking for affordable emissions-free vehicles. That is why the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), TM4—a subsidiary of Hydro‑Québec—, and Rio Tinto Metal Powders are teaming up to develop technologies to reduce the cost of electric motor components. The 4‑year project has already shown promising results in strengthening Canada’s position in this growing market.

“By sharing knowledge and transferring technology, we’ve come up with new manufacturing processes that helped create a new motor design with superior characteristics,” said Michel Dumoulin, General Manager of Automotive and Surface Transportation at the National Research Council of Canada. “Our support is instrumental in opening up new markets and in establishing a competitive supply chain for electric vehicle components.”

Next to batteries, traction electric motors are the most expensive component in electric vehicle powertrains. This is due to the manufacturing process and the cost of materials, such as rare earth elements contained in the permanent magnets

“With the National Research Council, we found a way to include 60 percent fewer permanent magnets by substituting them with over 100 small magnetic components, creating smaller, less expensive, and more efficient motors,” said Martin Houle, Innovation Director at TM4. “Our new motor technology is already in high demand. It is being integrated into TM4’s SUMO™ electric motors series, with large numbers already ordered.”

“This collaboration made it possible to combine complementary skills to iron powders,” said Chantal Labrecque, Director of Ferrous Products Research and Technology with Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium. “We support research and development of innovative applications in the automotive sector as iron powder is a material of choice to strengthen Canada’s position in electric motor components.”

The National Research Council, TM4, and Rio Tinto Metal Powders will showcase their work on this new technology to the public at the Electric vehicle symposium and exhibition starting this Sunday at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

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