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Through harmonizing knowledge across engineering, physics, electronics, and computer science we can deliver critical improvements

In all current EV motor designs there are compromises. Permanent magnet motors are an unsustainable option. Replace the magnets with electromagnets and they struggle to produce torque at low speeds. The different approaches to overcome these compromises all bring their own issues (additional weight/higher cost/lower efficiency…).

This is why there is no preferred design in EVs today. Due to the many compromises and performance characteristics of today’s designs there is no consensus around an optimal design. None of them are good enough.

Then there is the environmental cost. Two thousand tons of toxic waste are generated in the manufacture of a single ton of permanent magnets. They are difficult to recycle and if they overheat, they cannot be repaired. These magnets are also very expensive (and predicted to increase) whilst suffering supply chain challenges.

Rare earth permanent magnets are used in 80+% of EVs today. Monumo’s technology is different.

The advances in technology, design tools and manufacturing process’s combined with the exceptional skills of our design team is enabling Monumo to completely evaluate and improve all aspects of motors and drive systems

Ian Murphy, CTO

Full system efficiency is only just starting to be explored. There is a whole side of electric motors that is often considered as a separate technology, namely power control and inverters.

The relationship between the motor design and geometry, the electronics, the power control and the inverters is critical to overall performance but is rarely viewed as a single, symbiotic, system where a change in one element has implications across the whole.

electric motor
  • Permanent Magnets

    Permanent magnets are mined from rare earths. Today, over 80% of electric vehicles use them, they’re expensive, unsustainable, suffer supply chain issues and can be destroyed by heat at high speeds.

  • Heat

    Induction and wound motors suffer from high heat and possible burnout at low speeds, Permanent magnet motors also require cooling, especially at high speeds.

  • Speed

    Electric motors have an optimal operating speed that delivers maximum efficiency. Outside this specific speed, their efficiency tends to drop-off dramatically.

  • Strength and weight

    Permanent magnet (PM) motors tend to be very compact and heavy with high power density. Alternatively, non-PM motor designs need to be bigger and heavier if they are to achieve the same performance.

The EV Challenge and today’s problem

Something extraordinary is happening in the automotive space. After over a century of oil-powered transport, it is now clear that the next century will be electric. And this is a huge shift for the industry. Think about this as an example: An internal combustion engine might be good for 250,000 miles at most. An electric motor could run for 3,000,000 miles. How will the industry evolve to account for this? We can’t be disposing of motors that still have 90% of their working life ahead of them.

Another factor to consider is that the sector is yet to coalesce around the optimal design for the average EV. This is because the optimal design has yet to emerge. The industry standard for the internal combustion engine evolved over many decades ending in multiple variations of a four cylinder, fuel injection engine. For electric motors, we must accelerate the evolution of an optimal design from decades to years.

The arrival of the EV has further shaken the global automotive market by bringing multiple new, large disruptive companies into the sector in a very short space of time. Added to this, many consumer electronics companies are now viewing the EV as a potential new flagship offering and companies that have been manufacturing smart phones for the big brands have suddenly been showing off concept cars.

And we haven’t even touched on the new regulations that will govern this sector in the future, all them focussed on carbon reduction, sustainability and measures to recoup lost taxes from fossil fuels. In all of this change and activity, every company is searching for technology that helps to differentiate them and establish their place in such a rapidly evolving market.

Beyond EV

The technologies being developed by Monumo are relevant to many sectors beyond transportation. At the highest level, the approach is relevant to the future of engineering as a whole. Where AI-based system-level optimisation and designs that go beyond the conventional will become the norm.

Clean power generation is the most interesting technology for Monumo to explore after transportation. The principles we are using apply equally to generators as they do to motors and some of our innovations could be especially applicable to this space. Enabling cost-effective electricity generation using sustainable materials is as vital to our future as clean, efficient transportation.