Norfolk-based electronics R&D company is about to begin an expansion phase that will convert it to a tier one manufacturer of electric motors
Steve Cropley Autocar
30 May 2018

Equipmake, the Norfolk-based electronics R&D company, is about to begin an unprecedented expansion phase that, within five years, will convert it to a tier one manufacturer of electric motors for cars, making “hundreds of thousands a year”.

The firm, which over the past decade has used a highly successful phase designing KERS systems for Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship cars to acquire cutting-edge knowledge of automotive motors, has designed and built a range of so-called spoke machines — compact permanent magnet motors with the magnets arranged as spokes in a wheel for efficient torque generation.

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Equipmake’s founder and managing director, Ian Foley, says spoke motors aren’t new; his company’s achievement is to have discovered — and patented — a new way to cool the magnets that allows them to deliver higher continuous power than others. In most applications, Equipmake motors will thus be smaller, higher-revving and use less materials.

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Foley estimates that Equipmake has a lead of around two years over rivals.

The demand for electric motors from big car companies has “changed completely” over the past year or so, Foley says, as they rush to compete with eye-catching models such as the Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar I-Pace.

Equipmake’s opportunity now is to become a major supplier, Foley explains, by “employing hundreds of people and manufacturing hundreds of thousands of motors”. The company will need to build in steps, he says, taking in outside investors and carefully controlling quality as it goes, before concluding: “But there’s absolutely no doubt the opportunity’s there.”

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Comments
12

30 May 2018

I guess all electric motors have efficiencies of 95% or more, so it's probably not a differentiator. Either way, the motors are not a problem, it's the energy storage that's holding back electric cars. 

But good to see a british company taking an apparent lead in this field, let's hope they can make them cheaply enough to satisfy the cost driven car industry. 

30 May 2018
The medium term future, after all, belongs to those who master hydrogen.

bol

30 May 2018

Seems like a dead end to me. Hugely costly infrastructure and made superfluous once batteries can hold enough power. 

Either way, they’ll still be using electric motors. 

30 May 2018
bol wrote:

Seems like a dead end to me. Hugely costly infrastructure and made superfluous once batteries can hold enough power. 

Either way, they’ll still be using electric motors. 

Batteries are very dirty to manufacture. And extremely energy intensive. Hydrogen is literally everywhere and literally inexhaustible. Clean energy is getting cheaper and cheaper, and generation is increasingly decentralised.

Good point about the motors. We're going to need a lot of them!

30 May 2018
jason_recliner wrote:

The medium term future, after all, belongs to those who master hydrogen.

Depends on if the battery’s progresses fast enough or hydrogen is mastered first. Much like the VHS vs Betamax battle of the 80s

30 May 2018

With the ongoing success of EV's it's a good business to be in.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

30 May 2018
xxxx wrote:

With the ongoing success of EV's it's a good business to be in.

unfortunately this country’s got to a stage where soon as it make something useful, it ends up selling on the cheap to the French or Germans to take profits, manufacturing and credit. Just look at how the French automotive supplier Valeo created their electric turbo. Another (but maybe not British) is the direct injection system developed by Bosch but created by Fiat in Italy.

Sooner or later this will become another foreign owned asset just like Wembleyand anything else we have for is saleable. Best the British people can hope for is that it’s brought by Dyson in their mission to become a car maker.

30 May 2018

Excellent news, to see a British company going to the fore.  I hope the government are helping as much as the EU allows them to.  I run a small engineering business and we are aware of the negativity that exists in this country, and a willingness to either buy Chinese (because it's cheap crap) or buy German (because they think that's a badge of distinction (it isn't).  I wish them every success.

30 May 2018
Bazzer wrote:

Excellent news, to see a British company going to the fore.  I hope the government are helping as much as the EU allows them to.  I run a small engineering business and we are aware of the negativity that exists in this country, and a willingness to either buy Chinese (because it's cheap crap) or buy German (because they think that's a badge of distinction (it isn't).  I wish them every success.

Distinction? more like the badge of the idiot. 

30 May 2018

Efficiency, weight, size, reliability and torque will all play a part.

Interestingly, the motor is probably Mr Dyson's greatest USP. Haven't heard about his EV project for a while?

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