French carmaker Renault and equipment manufacturer Valeo have come together to create the next-generation electric motor. Nicknamed E7A, this wound motor doesn’t require any rare earth in its construction.
Thirty percent more compact than the unit currently powering the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, the all-in-one E7A motor can produce up to 200 kW and is built to accommodate an electric system with 800 volts.
Next-gen electric motor
In the automotive sector, many tend to concentrate on battery technology when discussing EV advancement. However, electric motors might have been around for more than a century, but their internal construction is evolving. New, more efficient electric motors can drastically affect EV’s performance and range; look at Volkswagen’s, Audi’s, and Skoda’s upgraded electric models.
Renault is also working on a new generation of electric motors in cooperation with French equipment manufacturer Valeo since 2021. However, performance and efficiency aren’t the only key features, as the new model is also more durable.
The new electric drive unit, nicknamed E7A and still under development, uses a wound motor instead of permanent magnets. Not only does that increase the unit’s power output, it also eliminates any reliance on rare earth materials required for the magnets.
Valeo has developed the stator, using the French company’s in-house hairpin technology to assemble copper wires. It’s assembled in the same electric drive unit, along with the rotor and inverter, which is smaller and around 30% more compact than the one powering the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and Scenic E-Tech (6 AM).
200 kW and 800 volts
Despite its more compact size, the new wound motor helps the E7A to produce up to 200 kW (272 hp) without consuming more energy. The manufacturer’s new motor will not come alone, as this third-generation of Renault electric motors is also made to work with an 800-volt electric system instead of the 400-volts of the Alliance’s current platform.
Currently, only a handful of EVs are based on such a high-voltage system, noticeably the Kia-Hyundai models on the eGMP platform and the Porsche Taycan. Renault’s new E7A electric drive unit is still under development, but production should start in 2027. It’ll be assembled in France at the historic engines and gearboxes plant in Cléon, Normandie.