New energy vehicle core components: the trend of driving motors


As the global automotive electrification penetration rate continues to increase, the drive motor industry will usher in a rapid expansion of the overall scale. In the process, third-party motor manufacturers with economies of scale and technological advantages will have the opportunity to rapidly expand their market share and achieve significant growth in performance.

Global Drive Motor Market Trends

According to estimates, with the rapid advancement of global automotive electrification, the new energy vehicle motor system market will expand rapidly, and the market size is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2015 to $31.8 billion in 2030.

The new energy vehicle motor system mainly includes two parts, the electric motor and the inverter. Although the same as most other auto parts, these two parts are facing price pressure for a long time, but due to the increase in the total amount of new energy vehicles, the industry is generally better. Great upside. We expect the average annual growth rate of the market in 2030 will be around 18%-20%.

In terms of system unit price, the overall development of the motor system to the high power direction also brings about an increase in the assembly price.

According to estimates, under the assumption of neutrality, the sales of electric vehicles will reach 20 million units in 2030, accounting for 16%-18% of the total sales of passenger vehicles in that year. However, if the optimistic scenario, that is, the battery price has fallen sharply and the environmental protection policy is more stringent, the growth rate of electric vehicle sales may rise sharply. We expect the total annual sales of new energy vehicles to be optimistic. It reached a level of 30 million units, accounting for 25%-27% of the car sales that year.

It is expected that the power demand of a single-motor hybrid vehicle is about 30kw, the power of a double-motor plug-in hybrid is about 50-100kw, and the power of a pure electric vehicle is about 200kw.

To download the full report of this article, please visit the Leqing Think Tank website on the PC:

Motor market situation

We expect the average annual growth rate of motor sales to reach 18% by 2030. By 2030, the overall sales volume of the industry will reach $19.5 billion, which is nearly 17 times higher than the 2015 level of $1.2 billion.

It is expected that the sales of electric motors will increase from 3.6 million in 2015 to 49 million in 2030. At the same time, the number of bicycle motors is expected to decline, from 1.8 to 1.4, mainly due to the increase in sales of pure electric vehicles with single motors.

However, we expect to increase the unit price of the motor, from the current $350 to $380, which is mainly driven by the wider application of high-priced high-power motors.

In terms of market share, Toyota Group is far ahead in the 2016 data, and Honda Group ranks second, while the two groups are also leading the world in the hybrid field. This was followed by BYD and Taiwanese motor manufacturer Tomita Motors supplying Tesla.

In the long-term development of the motor industry, the rise of third-party suppliers will be the general trend. If we observe the current industrial chain of the Japanese auto industry, it is not difficult to find that the top three companies occupying the leading position tend to be self-powered products. This is related to the traditional genes of Japanese manufacturing companies and to the stage of development of the industry.

If we look at the history of the PC and mobile phone industry, we can easily find that these two industries are highly integrated upstream and downstream in the initial stage, whether it is HP, Apple, Silicon Graphics in the PC industry, Nokia or Motorola in the mobile phone industry. They are highly integrated in the industrial chain, because in the initial product upgrade speed is faster, the upstream parts suppliers need to quickly respond to each other, so the integrated production model has a high cost performance;

However, in the middle and late stages of the development of the industry, due to the expansion of the scale of the entire market, and the speed of product replacement and replacement does not need to be as fast as the initial stage, the scale effect of the third-party suppliers as the target of the entire market is reflected, which also gave birth to Foxconn. The rise of a range of third-party suppliers such as Micron and Hynix.

The new energy automotive motor industry is no exception. From the current point of view, Honda has announced that it will cooperate with Hitachi to produce motors. At the same time, Nissan also mentioned in the investor exchange meeting that it may start mining motors in the future.

In October 2017, Mitsubishi Electric announced that it will supply motors and inverters for Daimler Benz. With the popularization of high-performance, low-cost products from third-party motor manufacturers, the market share of the motor industry from the self-supplied to the third-party enterprises is the general trend.

At present, Japanese motor companies have begun to respond to the trend changes brought about by electrification. We expect Denso and Aisin Seiki to first take advantage of their existing scale and occupy market share at a lower cost, and the closely following electric and Mingdian will follow quickly.

At present, the average gross profit margin of the motor industry is around 30%, and the production scale is one of the main factors determining the level of gross profit margin.

Inverter industry situation

We predict that the inverter industry will also see rapid growth. According to estimates, the sales revenue of the inverter market will increase from $1.2 billion in 2015 to 13.3 billion in 2030.

From the sales point of view, because the ratio of inverter to motor is basically 1:1, it is estimated that the total sales will increase from 3.6 million in 2015 to 49 million in 2030.

At the same time, the price of bicycles will drop from $300-$400 to $200-$300, mainly due to the cost-scale effect after the volume.

Similar to the motor field, the Toyota Group is also currently leading the inverter industry. At the same time, Denso Group, a subsidiary of the Toyota Group, is currently expanding its inverter customers on a large scale. After Toyota, Mitsubishi Electric also occupied a considerable market share.

Technological evolution

From the classification of motors, there are mainly four types of DC, AC induction, permanent magnet synchronization and switching reluctance. The new energy vehicle motors mainly use the latter three.

At present, permanent magnet synchronization is the mainstream motor type due to its superior performance. AC asynchronous motors are affordable, but have a slightly lower performance and are used by some manufacturers in the US and China. The main advantage of switched reluctance motors is their low price, but there are also technical problems of noise and vibration. If these problems can be solved, switched reluctance motors will have a large market.

AC asynchronous motor: Although AC asynchronous motor has no advantage over permanent magnet synchronous power, its cost is much lower than that of permanent magnet synchronous motor. In terms of volume, AC asynchronous motors are larger than permanent magnet synchronous motors, mainly due to design constraints.

Permanent magnet synchronous motor: There is a rotor with a permanent magnet inside the motor. The overall system has high power and small volume. The cost is relatively expensive, mainly due to the high price of permanent magnet materials. Research on reducing the use of permanent magnets is currently underway, and research is also focused on improving the output efficiency of magnets. Permanent magnet motors are the most widely used types of motors in the electric motor industry today.

Switched Reluctance Motors: The price of switched reluctance motors is very competitive, mainly due to the fact that there are no high-cost permanent magnets in their rotors, and their power is moderate. Since the pulling force of the stator and the rotor is used to provide power, the vibration and noise caused in the process are the main problems. Since electric vehicle motors are currently in a rapid period of time, we believe that the increase in demand will accelerate the innovation of technology.

Motor technology upgrade direction

By studying the technological evolution of motors over the past 20 years, we have found that there is still a large room for further improvement in motor technology. First look at the thickness of the steel for the movement. For the stator and rotor, it is mainly composed of a thin layer of electromagnetic steel. In 1997, the first generation Toyota Prius used a 0.35mm steel layer, which was subsequently reduced to 0.3mm, and recently dropped to 0.25mm in 2016. In general, an increase in the number of layers of thin steel can increase the efficiency of the motor and also help control the temperature of the motor.

At present, manufacturing thin steel is a major technical problem in the industry. The main difficulty lies in controlling the rebound in the die casting and the consistency of the steel sheet material. From the current situation, the rotary forging technology will become the mainstream manufacturing method of the industry due to its advantages in cost and production efficiency.

Secondly, in terms of winding density, the amount of winding in the stator as a whole is an important factor determining the power of the motor. The number of windings is determined by the number of turns that the copper wire can wrap around the movement in a limited space. In terms of technology, the use of the inserter is currently suitable for high-power stator processing, and has gradually become the industry standard.

In terms of coil type, there are mainly square and round. At present, the mainstream manufacturers use circular, but the square technology is gradually replacing the circular to become the general direction of the industry due to its high space utilization, while Toyota and Honda are currently Square winding technology has been adopted in batches. Other manufacturers here, Yaskawa Electric has begun to develop electronic winding technology, the purpose is to improve control and efficiency.

Finally, in terms of the cooling system, the split motor and the inverter are two parts: the motor. Since the magnetic force of the permanent magnet motor is weakened as the motor temperature increases, the efficiency of the cooling system is crucial for the high-power operation of the motor.

From the trend of technology evolution, the mainstream cooling technology has evolved from air-cooled and water-cooled to the current stage of oil cooling. The main technical means is to immerse the motor in the oil cooling chamber to achieve the purpose of cooling. Although some experts believe that friction with oil will reduce the efficiency of the motor, but in all aspects, oil cooling is still the most effective cooling mode under current technical conditions.

In terms of inverters, the cooling system is also important for the performance of the inverter. Nissan recently claimed to increase the output power of the motor from 80kw to 110kw in the new 2017 model of the wind, by increasing the inverter cooling system. The parts are the same as the previous generation.

This reflects the importance of the inverter cooling system. Although the use of silicon carbide will improve the heat resistance and pressure resistance of the motor, its high cost, the time of its large-scale application may be difficult to come in the short term.