A lightweight electric motor designed by the Electronic Power Group at the University of Oxford is to power a new four-seat coupé, with track tests scheduled for the end of 2009. Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company for Oxford University, is managing the intellectual property and commercial agreements for the electric motor project. The Oxford University Challenge Seed Fund is supporting the project with investment to build a prototype for use in test cars.
Dr Malcolm McCulloch of Oxford's Electrical Power Group at the Department of Engineering Science explains: 'The motor was developed for the Morgan Lifecar in 2008, and we now have funding to adapt it for high-performance electric vehicles, and we're also looking at aerospace, renewable and industrial use.'
Dr McCulloch adds: 'The 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.'
'Over 50 per cent of the world's electricity powers electric motors, so it's extremely important to improve the efficiency of motors. This motor can be adapted to achieve better performance in a whole range of applications.'
Images of the electric motor and Delta Motorsport car can be downloaded at: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/090507.html