EMRAX and ELAPHE In-Wheel electric motors
Two similar innovations were developed in recent years in the field of high efficiency electric motors for vehicles by two developer teams: Enstroj (EMRAX motor) and Elaphe (in-wheel motor).
EMRAX electric motor is a highly efficient and lightweight brushless electric motor, particularly suitable for use in electric vehicles, but also for airplanes, boats, power plants, and wind and hydro power stations. At its weight 11,5 kg a 25 kW motor is the lightest motor of such power on the market. It was used in APIS electric powered glider plane.
ELAPHE in-wheel motor uses innovative electromagnetic solutions to provide a vehicle with high torque and power, while remaining light and easy to produce.
Both motors were tested as airplane motors (primarily EMRAX), ELAPHE was tested in electric scooter and electric cars. Elaphe is co-operating with Oprema Ravne, another Slovenian company, which has started developing an advanced electric city car with in-wheel drive named Chebela. In winter 2010, three prototypes have successfully been assembled and are being tested.
History and producer (company, research institute, city, individual user etc,)
Enstroj company was established in 1991 by an individual researcher Roman Sušnik and has since been producing and developing unique innovative objects for many different organizations – TV stations, theateres, opera. The development of electric motor started in 2000, because there was no suitable electric motor in the world market for electric glider plane. In 2009 a prototype of EMRAX motor was developed and after improvements serial production started in 2010.
Elaphe was founded in 2006 by an experienced innovator Andrej Detela, who has already developed advanced motors for robotic industry, and young entrepreneur Gorazd Lampič, a physicist who has specialized in electric propulsion. Their common development has started earlier, their first prototype motor Elaphe*1 was built in 2003. Since then, improved prototypes were developed, but their main business model is custom development of motors for specific products (e.g. Chebela electric car, all-terrain vehicle etc.)
Possible effects: economic, social, environmental
Efficient electric propulsion is one of the key components of electric vehicles, especially provision of high torque at low speeds. The innovations that provide low-weight motors can make electric vehicles (and airplanes) viable and economically successful. Transformation of fossil-fuel powered vehicles to electric vehicles could in the long-term significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Success of such products could also provide important social benefits through employment and educational opportunities.
- lack of resources for upgrade of prototypes to industrial production
- risk of entering the market with innovative products that do not yet have wide-spread use
- cost and risks with developing global distribution and service network
- rising oil price is making electrical vehicles economically viable
- co-operation among companies is important for quick improvement and practical implementation of innovations
- publicity for innovators is important in keeping the momentum