For demonstration purposes, Volabo has already built 5 prototypes and is now busy integrating its e-drive in demo cars. The new motor concept has already been benchmarked against industry leading e-drives and enabled a 25% increase in driving range at equivalent battery capacity, or allowed a 30% reduction of battery capacity for the same range (through the cascading effects of lighter e-drive weight, lower power losses and reduced battery weight in the vehicle).
Backed by research, Volabo claims the ISCAD reduces losses in common driving cycles by more than 50 % compared to reference drives based on induction machines.
270mm long and 253mm in diameter, the prototype ISCAD delivers over 300kW at a safe-to-touch 48V battery voltage, removing the need for costly high-voltage shielding and making this e-drive inherently safe for maintenance personnel or even in the event of a heavy car crash.
Discussing the company's roadmap with eeNews Europe, Marketing manager Lena Honsberg said the company was now working on its 4th generation e-drive, noting that apart from the very first prototype that had served as a proof of concept, all subsequent designs had been following precise customer specifications, meaning the startup was self-financed through customer-oriented project developments.
"Now we are acting as a development consulting firm and we are self-funded by a regular cash-flow, so we could go without investors. But our next step is to qualify and certify the e-drive for automotive applications so we can license our technology to various car manufacturers. In order to go faster and be more agile, independently from customer-driven projects, we are looking for investors or strategic partners" Honsberg explained.
Because the ISCAD could be designed with a varying number of poles or sized differently, it is very scalable, from 15 to 300kW, according to the company who sees large markets in the ship industry as well as in agricultural machinery where a 48V system would be inherently safer than the 400 or 800V systems in use today.
"A lot of firms are interested in our technology and we have a lot of projects running" Honsberg said, one of them with German company Knorr-Bremse.
Next, the 20-staff strong company wants to design optimized power electronics to further leverage the efficiency gains of its e-drive.
Volabo - www.volabo.com