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As electric motors become more ubiquitous in our everyday lives, found in just about everything we use from automobiles to kitchen appliances to IOT-connected and smart devices, it’s more important than ever to understand the machine characteristics, modern control techniques, and associated interactions with electronic drives that power these objects. Computer-based tools for estimating machine parameters and performance can remarkably speed up a designer’s understanding of when different control and machine design assumptions are applicable, and how gracefully these assumptions fail as performance limits are approached.

This course focuses on the analysis and design of electric motors, generators, and drive systems, placing special emphasis on the design of machines for electric drives, including traction drives, drive motors for automated manufacturing (robots), material handling and drive motors for automotive, aircraft and marine propulsion systems. Participants will gain extensive hands-on exposure through computer-based laboratory exercises using MATLAB and a hardware build session in our instructional laboratories.

Exercises will include investigating machine performance as affected by design measures such as selection of pole and slot count, winding details such as turns distribution, induction machine slot profiles, optimization of magnets, and other design measures. We will use computer-based simulation tools to discuss control strategies for the different machine types and address optimization techniques, including matching motor design to performance requirements. Throughout the course, we will present performance considerations, trade-offs, and design approaches and provide access to computer facilities and analysis routines will be provided for practice in machine analysis and design.

Electric vehicles are using electric machines for propulsion and energy recuperation. An electric machine can be of two types: motor and generator. An electric motor converts electric energy into mechanical energy, while an electric generator converts mechanical (kinetic) energy into electrical energy.

Content includes: Construction and function of electric motors, Types of motor, AC motors basic principle, Synchronous motors, DC motors, Electronically commutated motor, Switched reluctance motor, Motor efficiency, Control system, Power control, Sensors, Battery

Recommended for: Technicians, Students, Technical Trainers and Assessors

Compared to an internal combustion engine, an electric motor has several advantages. Some of them are described in the table below.

Characteristic Internal combustion engine
Electric Machine
Number of moving parts Very high Low
Reliability Moderate High
Efficiency [%] Low
(less than 45)
(more than 90)
Bidirectional No
(can not rotate and generate torque in reverse)
(can rotate and generate torque also in reverse)
Energy recupperation No Yes
Power density [kW/kg] Low
(e.g approx. 0.7 Chevrolet V8 Turbo Diesel)
(e.g. approx. 1.4 Toyota Prius BLDC*)
Torque output at standstill No Yes
Noise, vibrations Moderate Low
Exhaust gas pollutants High
(CO, HC, NOx, PM)

*Brushless DC electric motor

When designing from scratch an electric vehicle or when doing a conversion (internal combustion engine to electric machine) there are two options for the powertrain:

  • design an build the electric machine
  • integrate already existing electric machines

The first option only makes sense for high volume, mass production of electric vehicle. Designing and manufacturing an electric machine requires a lot of funding, knowledge and time. For electric vehicles OEMs (e.g. Tesla, Renault-Nissan, etc.) it makes sense to design and manufacture the electric machines since the overall cost is lower and they have control on the technical specification.


  1. V –I characteristics of BLDC, PMSM, PMDC and Induction motors.
  2. Design calculations of BLDC
  3. Fundamentals of BLDC
  4. Explanation of parts of BLDC
  5. Materials used to manufacture BLDC motor parts
  6. Technology of BLDC motor
  7. Difference between BLDC and other motors
  8. Generalized step by step  procedure of design of BLDC
  9. Torque speed characteristics of BLDC
  10. Comparison of torque speed characteristics of BLDC motor with other motors
  11. Calculation of wire size, resistance and inductance /phase of BLDC
  12. Advantages and disadvantages and applications of BLDC motors
  13. Cogging torque of BLDC
  14. Speed torque characteristics of PMSM and induction motor
  15. Advantages, disadvantages and applications of PMSM and induction motor

During the first decade of the 1900s, 38 percent of all cars in the United States ran on electricity, a share that declined to practically zero as the internal combustion engine rose to dominance in the 1920s. Today’s drive to save energy and reduce pollution has given the electric car new life, but its high cost and limited range of travel combine to keep sales figures low.

Most attempts to solve these problems involve improving the batteries. Of course, better electric storage systems—whether batteries or fuel cells—must continue to be part of any strategy for improving electric vehicles, but there’s plenty of room for improvement as well in another fundamental vehicle component: the motor. For the past four years we have been working on a new concept for an electric traction motor, the kind used in electric cars and trucks. Our latest design improves efficiency quite a bit in comparison with that of conventional designs—enough to make electric vehicles more practical and affordable.


[1] https://cdn.borgwarner.com/technologies/electric-drive-motors/hvh-series-electric-motor
[2] J. Larminie, J. Lowry, Electric Vehicle Technology Explained, John Wiley & Sons, 2003

  1. EV design – electric motors, x-engineer
  2. The Secrets of Electric Cars and Their Motors: It’s Not All About the Battery, Folks
  3. Design and Fabrication of Self-Charging Electric Vehicle
  4. Shut Up About the Batteries: The Key to a Better Electric Car Is a Lighter Motor

Course Curriculum

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