EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y02477X/1
Title: Zero-Magnets Electric Drive for Electric Vehicles (Z-M Drive)
Principal Investigator: Pickert, Professor V
Other Investigators:
Odhano, Dr S Atkinson, Dr G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
GKN Automotive (Dowlais)
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2024 Ends: 30 June 2026 Value (£): 627,150
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems Power Electronics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Jul 2023 EPSRC Interview panel A - Prosperity Partnership early-stage collaborations Announced
28 Jun 2023 Prosperity Partnerships: Early Stage Collaborations Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The early-stage Prosperity Programme marks an exciting collaboration between two esteemed partners: GKN Automotive (GKN) and Newcastle University (NU), who share a common objective of radically changing electric drives (eDrives) for electric vehicles (EVs) by eliminating magnets. While magnets have been the go-to solution for most EVs, they are not environmentally sustainable. Our ultimate goal is to develop zero-magnet electric drives (Z-M Drives) that can create a more resilient and affordable EV industry accessible to everyone. This 30-month project will involve a team of six dedicated researchers from GKN and NU working on radical innovative ideas in Z-M Drives to position us as technological leaders in this field.

Building on the success of our existing partnership through the GKN Automotive Advanced Research Centre for the past year and a half, where we have made significant strides in improving magnet-based eDrives, the early-stage Prosperity Programme serves as a critical steppingstone towards our vision of becoming life-long partners in Z-M Drives research.

Our research will focus on enhancing the Rotating Transformer Electric Excited Synchronous Motor (RT-EESM) drive, which is a promising contender in the future EV market. Currently, the RT-EESM requires two control power units, which can be costly and create reliability issues. In this collaboration, we aim to reduce the need for an entire power unit without compromising control of the eDrive. Additionally, we will investigate a high-efficiency air cooling system that can replace complex water and oil cooling systems. Moreover, we will apply the RT-EESM to a 6-phase motor, which is more robust against faults than the 3-phase motors currently used in EV applications. However, developing advanced control strategies is necessary, particularly when the number of power units is reduced. Ultimately, we will demonstrate a fully operational prototype to the public upon project completion.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk