Pint-size Electric Motor Packs Super-size Power

Mitsubishi’s little electric cars have a lot of fans here at Gas 2, and they’re sure to win a few more with the introduction of a new EV motor that incorporates something called a silicon-carbide inverter. That’s fancy-talk for cutting-edge technology that will allow Mitsubishi to build EVs with smaller motors that deliver just as much power as the company’s current electrics.

Mitsubishi claims that the motor’s power chips are all silicon carbide-based, which results in a 50% improvement in conductive efficiency compared to their (and everyone else’s) current silicon-based inverter systems. That’s good news for MiEV fans and all the performance enthusiasts out there waiting on Mitsubishi’s hinted-at Evo XI diesel hybrid rally weapon.

We’ll have more on this new tech as soon as Mitusbishi puts it in an actual car. Until then, you can check out their full (albeit, brief) press release, below.

Tokyo – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today it has developed a prototype electric vehicle (EV) motor system with a built-in silicon carbide inverter. The EV motor system is the smallest of its kind, measuring just half the dimensions of Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system that uses an external inverter, and loss is below half that of silicon-based systems.

The new motor system is expected to enable manufacturers to develop EVs offering more passenger space and greater energy efficiency. The company plans to commercialize the motor system after finalizing other technologies for motor/inverter cooling, downsizing and efficiency.

The global demand for EVs and hybrid EVs (HEVs) has been growing in recent years, reflecting increasingly strict regulation of fuel efficiency and growing public interest in saving energy resources and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. As EVs and HEVs require relatively large spaces to accommodate their robust battery systems, there is a strong need to reduce the size and weight of motor systems and other equipment to ensure sufficient room in passenger compartments.

Source: Mitsubishi.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.