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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knows of a good place to find NEW electric motors at low cost. I have been looking around, and have found a few good high power (200hp) motors, however they are prohibitively expensive! (>10k)

FULL DISCLOSER:
My company is designing a 150hp motor/controller all-in-one unit that we hope to sell for under $3000. I am trying to get an idea of if something like that is useful for the DIYers out there or not.

What do you guys think?
Thanks :)
 

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Under 3k? I'm in. Do you have any more information? Recycled hybrid motors?

The closest AC (induction, pm, whatever) I've seen is the new Hyper 9.
 

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This would definitely be interesting - Netgain's new Hyper 9 is a little over $4k for the motor, controller, and I believe it comes with some controls and a user interface. Do you have any specifics like voltage range and technology of the motor? Does it comes with controls? reverse? regen?
 

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The original question was about a 200 hp motor - I agree that at that power level new motors are very expensive, and not many salvaged EV motors are at that power... but perhaps only because they are limited by other components of the vehicle.

At 150 hp and $3K with controller, there would be a lot of interest... but is that 150 hp continuous, or in brief bursts? What would the maximum speed and usable speed range be? How would it be packaged, how would it be designed to mount, and what would the output shaft configuration be? Would there be transmission/transaxle options?

The details matter.

Since I'm always curious about the technical aspects, I wonder how this package would be so much less expensive than the competition - what would be different in the design?
 

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The original question was about a 200 hp motor - I agree that at that power level new motors are very expensive, and not many salvaged EV motors are at that power... but perhaps only because they are limited by other components of the vehicle.
The ones I'm aware of in the 150hp range are the i3, Volt, and Lexus LS600h main motor. They LS600 motor runs a boosted voltage of 650 and still relies heavily on field weakening, so it may not be viable. I don't know of any that are in the 200hp range.

I mention the Hyper 9 not because of the power, but because it seems to be the cheapest AC package for the performance out there right now...And it still isn't that great.
 

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If we're getting into specific examples:
  • The Volt is a hybrid - I don't think either motor in the transaxle can put out 200 hp
  • I'm surprised that MG-2 in the Lexus LS 600h hybrid transmission is so powerful: Toyota lists it as 221 hp and 300 Nm torque. The GS 450h is nearly identical, but rated at 197 hp and 275 Nm.
  • The Chevrolet Bolt motor is rated at 150 kw (200 hp). I really doubt that it can be purchased for $3K at retail, especially with a controller; it also comes integrated with a transaxle, leading back to my questions about configuration.
  • The HyPer9 suffers (in power output) from being intended for relatively low voltage (by modern EV standards), because it is designed for a low-voltage market (mostly industrial vehicles). I wonder what voltage it could handle, and what power it could produce if it can run at higher voltage.
  • Nissan announced an "e+" or "Plus" version of the Leaf - not available yet - which has a motor power rating of ~160 kW (215 hp). It may be simply the existing Leaf motor, rated higher because it less limited by the larger battery (60 kWh) of this coming model... so any Leaf might be an example of a 200 hp motor. Even the regular (40 kWh) Leaf motor is now rated at 110 kW (147 hp). This illustrates the importance of the issue of operating voltage and other limitations of the rest of the vehicles when considering salvaged motors.
  • Of course, all Tesla motors are rated at more than 200 hp each; I've never heard of one being used separate from its integrated transaxle.
 

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If we're getting into specific examples:
  • The Volt is a hybrid - I don't think either motor in the transaxle can put out 200 hp
  • I'm surprised that MG-2 in the Lexus LS 600h hybrid transmission is so powerful: Toyota lists it as 221 hp and 300 Nm torque. The GS 450h is nearly identical, but rated at 197 hp and 275 Nm.
  • The Chevrolet Bolt motor is rated at 150 kw (200 hp). I really doubt that it can be purchased for $3K at retail, especially with a controller; it also comes integrated with a transaxle, leading back to my questions about configuration.
  • The HyPer9 suffers (in power output) from being intended for relatively low voltage (by modern EV standards), because it is designed for a low-voltage market (mostly industrial vehicles). I wonder what voltage it could handle, and what power it could produce if it can run at higher voltage.
  • Nissan announced an "e+" or "Plus" version of the Leaf - not available yet - which has a motor power rating of ~160 kW (215 hp). It may be simply the existing Leaf motor, rated higher because it less limited by the larger battery (60 kWh) of this coming model... so any Leaf might be an example of a 200 hp motor. Even the regular (40 kWh) Leaf motor is now rated at 110 kW (147 hp). This illustrates the importance of the issue of operating voltage and other limitations of the rest of the vehicles when considering salvaged motors.
  • Of course, all Tesla motors are rated at more than 200 hp each; I've never heard of one being used separate from its integrated transaxle.
Ya, none of the hybrid motors can do 200hp. Both of the specs for the LS600h and LS450h are optimistic. The ORNL reports for both dispute the factory specs. The peak power (18s burst) for the LS600h's MG2 was tested to be 110kW. I don't remember what the 450's is.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the examples, that is exactly what I was trying to find!

As for the motor design questions, I will try and give a bit more info for you.

We started out designing a motor that would be useful for a different application, namely hybrid aircraft. However I have wanted to convert my old MINI Cooper S to electric for some time now and got to looking at some of the motor prices and specs. Long story short I was not very happy with what I found (some >20k per motor!) and I think that things can be made a bit cheaper without sacrificing too much power.

Our motor would include the controller as it is integral to the design. It is a permanent magnet brushless 2 phase motor with smart Regen control built into the controller circuitry. The torque curve of our system is flat to 20krpm. This coupled with a final drive gearbox would enable a lightweight (prototype is 3 HP per lb ) drivetrain. The design is easily liquid cooled and capable of sustaining 75% rated power. (good point brian_ !)

The voltage is selectable, so it can run on either 50 or 100V (48V or 96V systems are fine) The best is a 48V system for regenerative braking since the motor computer has a special algorithm in it for that. (it maintains a voltage higher than the battery so that regen has steady power throughout the rpm range)

The motor has a unique design which allows it to be made fairly cheaply, so the electronics are our main cost (around $1000 for the controller)

My assumption for mounting hardware is a kit that allows adapter plates for different transmissions/transaxles. Or maybe even a service for that. (give us a dxf, and we cut the plate)

As I stated before we are just in the stage of trying to figure out what people really need/want so that we can build a really good system to fit. We have the motor technology, and engineering experience but the input of the people doing these conversions and work like this is invaluable!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just realized that the previous reply I posted, did not post for some reason.

Thanks for all the information, that was exactly what I was looking for. I had a feeling that most people were using used motors from production EVs for conversions. The issue I have with that is that you have to reverse engineer everything and make it fit with your car with very little in the way of engineering data (drawings, CAD files etc..) The companies that do provide motors of this sort are quite small and very expensive for larger HP models.


To answer a few of the questions:

1) Yes the motor would come with a controller with regen, reverse and an interface to customize the power and various parameters. The controller contains proprietary (yet addressable by computer) software that increases the regen efficiency for those with good enough batteries to handle the current. (you can set the max regen current as well)

2) Our idea was to have drawings and a simple bolt pattern so that interfacing to existing transmissions/drivelines would be simple (well as simple as possible!)

3) The motor design is PM and can be manufactured in several voltage ranges. That is another question for all of you. What is the most used voltage range for your conversions?

4) Cost of production for our design is lower because we designed the motor with manufacturing in mind. Once the Jigs are built, it will be simple for an automated process to quickly assemble each motor, cutting cost and increasing efficiency. IN fact the controller is the most expensive part of the system.

:)
 
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