Emerson Motors Develops Traction Drive Motor for Fuel Cell-Powered Electric Vehicles

Emerson Motors has partnered with Ecostar to develop the primary drive unit, which consists of a traction inverter module and motor/transaxle.

Published: 19-Mar-2001

ST. LOUIS, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Emerson Motors, a division of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), has been selected by Ecostar Electric Powertrain and Power Conversion Systems to assist in the development of electric traction motors for fuel cell-powered electric vehicles. Fuel cell-powered electric vehicles are zero emission vehicles that use hydrogen rather than gas or diesel as their primary power provider, thus providing a highly efficient, environmentally friendly and quiet means of transportation.

Emerson Motors has partnered with Ecostar to develop the primary drive unit, which consists of a traction inverter module and motor/transaxle. The traction drive completely replaces the internal combustion engine. Ecostar is a joint venture of Ballard Power Systems, a leading developer of fuel cells for transportation applications, and automakers Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler.

Emerson Motors has developed several prototype traction drive motors for Ecostar. An induction motor is integrated into a single drive package containing the inverter power supply, the traction motor and the differential assembly. A single drive package significantly reduces the number of parts and weight. As an oil-lubricated and water-cooled induction motor, Emerson's motor provides a torque source whose power density and speed range are unequaled in the industry.

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to form electricity and water. Hydrogen to power the fuel cell can come from many sources including natural gas and methanol. With a steady supply of fuel, fuel cells operate much like a continuous battery.

"Emerson Motors has always been on the leading edge of electric motor technology and we welcome the opportunity to use our technology for the betterment of the environment and to meet the country's increasing energy demands," said Dick Schul, Emerson Motors Group Vice President.

Ecostar, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., is a world-leading supplier of complete powertrain systems for electric vehicles. The company is also a world leader in the design and development of power conversion systems for stationary power applications.

"We turned to Emerson Motors for its progressive, quality motors," said Ross Witschonke, President and CEO of Ecostar. "We were aware of their technology capabilities, and they've really proven themselves on this project."

Emerson Motors, a global leader in the design and manufacture of electrical motors, provides a complete line of general and special purpose electric motors from 1/200 through 4,000 horsepower. Brands such as Doerr, US Electrical Motors, Emerson, Hurst, Switch Reluctance Drives, and Status Technologies allow Emerson Motors to support a wide variety of applications including commercial and industrial, appliance, hermetic, automotive, and HVAC. For more information about Emerson Motors visit www.emersonmotors.com or www.usmotors.com or contact the US Electrical Motors Literature Hotline at (800) 665-4850.

St. Louis-based Emerson (www.gotoemerson.com ) is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers in industrial automation; process control; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; electronics and telecommunications; and appliance and tools. Sales in fiscal 2000 were $15.5 billion.

SOURCE Emerson Motors

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