Electric Motors Becoming Centerpiece of Carmaker Plans

As the electrification of vehicles advances, engineers are emphasizing the need for motors to display their carmaker’s DNA in the same way a high-revving V-8 does for Ferrari.

Published: 10-Feb-2010

“SMOOTH and quiet as an electric motor” is a phrase that has been used repeatedly to compliment gasoline and diesel engines that are especially well-mannered.

As more hybrid and battery-electric vehicles enter the marketplace, though, the maxim is being transformed. Returning to a role in propelling vehicles that largely disappeared decades ago, electric motors are attracting attention from automakers, who see the need for hybrids and E.V.’s to have personality and character that parallels their brand’s image.

Electric motors have provided reliable power for everything from kitchen blenders to submarines for so long that they are taken for granted, considered commodity items like the hard drives in PCs. But as the electrification of vehicles advances, engineers are emphasizing the need for motors to display their carmaker’s DNA in the same way a high-revving V-8 does for Ferrari.

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