Romax Technology leads multi-million pound collaborative project to advance next-generation electric vehicle drive systems

In today’s fast-moving automotive industry, pressures are mounting on global suppliers and service providers to advance key technologies that will satisfy future electric vehicle demands. The industry is demanding higher-performing, more efficient electric motors, and, according to McKinsey’s Electric Vehicle Index, global sales of new electric vehicles passed a million units.

Romax Technology is leading a collaborative project to advance the industry’s electrification strategy. Romax Technology provide a unique integrated development approach to electro-mechanical drivelines, enabling Right First Time design of the next generation of low noise, efficient and durable electrified drive systems. The project is co-funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and is being carried out in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, Dassault Systèmes, GRM Consulting Ltd, the National Physical Laboratory and The University of Sheffield.  The project will advance a new innovative electric motor technology and develop specialised analysis tools to support the design of the next generation of electric vehicle drive systems.

As part of current initiatives towards lower emissions, in April 2017, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Transport Minister John Hayes announced £109 million government funding (bolstered by significant industry funding) to go towards 38 projects developing low carbon vehicles and new automotive technology. A subset of these projects is supported by the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV), which has awarded £16.7 million to seven projects looking specifically at developing technology for ultra-low and zero emission vehicles in the UK.

One of these seven projects, which has itself been awarded £1.87 million, is being led by Romax Technology, in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, Dassault Systèmes, GRM Consulting Ltd, the National Physical Laboratory and The University of Sheffield. The project, which started in the first half of 2018, looks to reduce vehicle emissions by developing innovative electric motor technology. Specifically, the work will include development of a novel permanent magnet electrical machine for a passenger vehicle application, and electro-mechanical analysis tools enabling seamless system integration and optimisation of drivetrain system performance (including efficiency, durability, noise, weight and cost).

Romax Technology’s Centre of Excellence for Electrification and The Electrical Machines and Drives group at The University of Sheffield are developing the novel permanent magnet motor technology. Three software providers are collaborating to provide a unique capability to optimise a drivetrain structure accounting for both electromagnetic and mechanical aspects. Romax Technology are providing their world-leading software RomaxDESIGNER, Dassault Systèmes are providing their electromagnetic simulation software Opera and GRM are providing their optimisation software.

The National Physical Laboratory is developing new measurement technology in order to provide confidence in unique materials testing and accurate data for the project. Jaguar Land Rover is providing the real-life environments, ensuring project developments target realistic situations.

From OEMs to engineering service providers, integrators and key suppliers to the global automotive sector, the outputs of the project will help the industry to meet future regulations and emissions targets more quickly and whilst facing less risk.

Romax Technology comment: “We are thrilled to be working with such industry-leading partners on this project, investigating novel technologies for low-emissions vehicles.”

Gareth Edwards, Head of Advanced Manufacturing Sector at NPL, comments: “NPL is delighted to be a partner within this project which brings together a set of unique but complementary skills from across industry and academia. A good metrology strategy at the start of any project is a key component to providing confidence in the end result and helping accelerate innovation and end user take up. This project offers the potential for some real advances towards the next generation of electric vehicle motors and creating a competitive supply chain within the UK.”

GRM comment: “This project will strengthen our contribution to a clean energy future, providing our software developers with new challenges and refining our optimisation products for the electric drives industry. We welcome a new and fruitful relationship with Dassault Systèmes and Romax Technology.”

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