Equipmake launches range of F1-bred electric motors for off-highway vehicles

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Leading electrification specialist, Equipmake, has readied a range of high performance yet cost-effective advanced electric motors for off-highway vehicles, bringing major benefits to multiple types of machinery in terms of power, low running costs and reduced emissions.

Based in Norfolk, UK, Equipmake primarily provides EV technology to automotive OEMs and specialist supercar manufacturers, producing everything from industry-leading electric motors to power electronic systems, all the way up to complete EV drivetrains, while also operating across agriculture, marine, mining and aerospace.

With ever-increasing pressure on minimising emissions and noise from construction sites coupled with a drive away from fossil fuels towards improved efficiency and productivity through lower maintenance costs, the global electric off-highway vehicle market is projected to grow from $6.3 billion in 2020 to $17.5 billion by 2025. Equipmake’s advanced and adaptable electric motors can be applied to a vast range of off-highway vehicles, as well as construction equipment, and play a vital role in the development of future autonomous off-highway vehicles too.

Incorporating many industry-leading innovations, Equipmake’s APM electric motor is believed to be the most power dense in global series production, using technology born out of Equipmake managing director Ian Foley’s career in top-level motorsport. A former Lotus and Benetton F1 engineer, Foley’s research into electric motors and flywheels in the mid-2000s led to him play a key role in the development of Williams F1’s hybrid system, used in the 2009 F1 season. The resulting hybrid flywheel arrangement went on to further success in endurance racing with Porsche and Audi.

The high-speed flywheel developed for the Williams programme was effectively a composite electric motor, Foley applying the expertise gained to a new design: Equipmake’s APM range of ‘spoke’ electric motors.

These are permanent magnet motors that use a spoke architecture (so-called because the magnets are arranged like the spokes of a wheel) to bring a major cooling advantage. Because the motor can be kept cool, it can produce lots of power and torque, use less expensive magnet materials and conventional manufacturing methods, so can be made smaller, lighter and more cost-effective.

“We are experiencing huge demand from the off-highway industry as manufacturers see the benefits that electrified vehicles can bring, from reduced emissions and noise to increased efficiency and lower running costs,” said Foley. “Our electric motors are extremely compact, lightweight yet powerful, which can play a huge role in improving payload too. Factor in the lack of maintenance required compared to traditional diesel machinery, and it is not hard to see why electrification makes so much sense. And, what’s more, Equipmake can work with almost any machinery manufacturer to create an entire, tailormade electric powertrain.”

Equipmake offers two compact, power dense motors for off-highway applications, which both use the company’s spoke architecture to maximise cooling capability.

The APM 120 has peak power of 125kW at 12,000rpm, continuous power of 75kW and peak torque of 130Nm. Weighing just 14kg, it has a power density of just under 9kW per kg. With an integrated gearbox, it measures just 200mm in length and 170mm in diameter. Meanwhile the APM 200 has peak power of 220kW at 10,000rpm, continuous power of 110kW and peak torque of 450Nm. Weighing just 40kg, it has a power density of over 5kW per kg. With an integrated gearbox, it measures just 247mm in length and 318mm in diameter.

Both motors can be specified with or without an integrated gearbox and can be mounted horizontally or vertically. Equipmake also makes all supporting power control electronics – including its own high-performance inverter which incorporates the latest silicon carbide diode technology to improve power capability and enable the inverter to run at high switching frequencies.

Late last year, Equipmake opened an all-new factory in Snetterton, Norfolk, where the company provides the complete electric mobility solution – whatever the sector – offering the capability to design, test and manufacture everything from motors to fully electrified platforms. It also sources and supplies the very latest lithium-ion batteries, creating entire electric drivetrains for an increasingly international customer base.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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