Driving a new generation: YASA Motors
Developing small, light electric motors for next-generation vehicles and other applications.
Dr Malcolm McCulloch, head of Oxford’s Electrical Power Group and Dr Tim Woolmer, then a PhD student in the group, devised a small but powerful electric motor for the 2008 Morgan Lifecar.
Isis worked with the inventors to file initial patent applications, build a business plan around the technology and secure both management and investment.
In 2009, Oxford YASA Motors was spun out as a separate company with £1.45 million to develop electric motors for both general use and in specialist areas such as motor racing.
Since then YASA Motors has:
set up manufacturing facilities in Abingdon, south of Oxford and employed engineering and manufacturing staff
delivered over 100 purpose-built motors
won awards from The Engineer and national charity the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership
installed YASA motors in the new Delta Motorsport E4 coupe – launched at Silverstone in 2011
signed a joint venture with electric vehicles supplier Sevcon
signed an agreement with Westfield Sportscars and Potenza Technology to develop the world’s first race-prepared electric vehicle – the iRACER and the new Electric GTM sportscar
powered the Ecotricity Ion Horse in the Isle of Man TT Zero
The company is targeting automotive, aerospace, marine and industrial markets where torque, efficiency and low motor mass are critical ingredients to achieve a high performance drive solution.
Dr McCulloch explains:
‘The Oxford YASA motor can achieve high torque for its weight, which ultimately means a smaller and cheaper motor. Torque is the twisting force that accelerates the car, and the peak torque we’re aiming for is 500Nm from 25kg.’
‘We’ve optimised the materials and design, so that the motor is lighter and more effective, giving half the volume and twice the torque for the same power output. This electric motor technology will reduce fuel consumption and also help us move away from fossil-based fuels to alternative energies.’
YASA means Yokeless And Segmented Armature, a description of the topology of the motor.