Equipmake launches F1-inspired electric motors for off-highway vehicles

Equipmake lectric motor

The United Kingdom-based Equipmake has created a range of high performance electric motors for off-highway vehicles. 

Equipmake primarily provides EV technology to automotive OEMs and specialist supercar manufacturers, producing everything from electric motors to power electronic systems to complete EV drivetrains, while also manufacturing components for agriculture, marine, mining and aerospace.

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 role in the development of future autonomous off-highway vehicles, as well.    

Incorporating numerous innovations, Equipmake’s APM electric motor is power dense, 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. 

“From electric buses to supercars, the APM range of motors has made a step change to the efficiency and performance of our automotive clients’ products,” Foley said. “Those same benefits – high power density and light weight, combined with an extremely compact package that includes integrated components such as the inverter and gearbox – are just as relevant to the world of off-highway.” 

RELATED: Liebherr develops the world’s first battery-powered crawler cranes 

The high-speed flywheel developed for the Williams programme was effectively a composite electric motor, and Foley applied 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 — as the magnets are arranged like the spokes of a wheel — to bring a major cooling advantage. Since the motor can be kept cool, it can produce lots of power and torque, use less expensive magnet materials and conventional manufacturing methods, so it can be made smaller, lighter and more cost-effective. 

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

The APM 120 has peak power of 125 kW at 12,000 rpm, continuous power of 75 kW and peak torque of 130 Nm. 

Weighing about 14 kg, it has a power density of just under 9 kW per kg. With an integrated gearbox, it measures 20 cm in length and 170 cm in diameter. 

The APM 200 has peak power of 220 kW at 10,000 rpm, continuous power of 110 kW and peak torque of 450 Nm. Weighing about 40 kg, it has a power density of more than 5 kW per kg. With an integrated gearbox, it measures 247 mm in length and 318 mm 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 silicon carbide diode technology to improve power capability and enable the inverter to run at high switching frequencies. 

“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,” Foley said.

“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, tailor-made electric powertrain.”