Nidec starts mass production of its Gen.2 E-Axles in China
Photo courtesy of Nidec

Nidec starts mass production of its Gen.2 E-Axles in China

Nidec Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer and distributor of electric motors, has started the mass production of the second-generation model (Gen.2) of its EV traction motor system, E-Axle.

The 100kW model of E-Axle Gen.2 is now in mass production, but the currently produced 200kW, 150kW, and other models in Nidec’s product lineup will be replaced by Gen.2 gradually.

The company is targeting a 40%-45% market share in EV traction motors by 2030. So far, Nidec has supply agreements with Geely brands Zeekr and Geometry, GAC and Foxconn. In Europe, Nidec manufactures electric motors in a joint venture with PSA and others.

In April 2019, Nidec became the first Tier 1 company in the world to launch the mass-production of E-Axle, the EV traction motor system that combines a motor, a gear, and an inverter (Gen.1). Tier 1 suppliers are companies that supply parts or systems directly to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Since then, a growing number of its Chinese and other customers have adopted Gen.1 to their automobiles, with 13 of their models equipped with it as of September 30, 2022. More than 520,000 units have been produced as of September 30, according to Nidec.

Gen.2, the E-Axle that the company started mass-producing at Guangzhou NidecAuto Drive System Co., Ltd. in China on September 26, 2022, is both lighter and quieter than its predecessor, Gen.1, based on magnetic circuit designing, oil cooling, and other technological know-how that Nidec has garnered through Gen.1’s development and mass production.

Nidec says Gen.2 is 19% lighter in weight. In addition, Gen.2 has 20% higher torque and power compared to its 100 kW predecessor. This was achieved by using smaller magnetic circuits and inverters, based on second-generation, high-space-factor wire-winding technology. In addition, the magnets require significantly less amounts of dysprosium (Dy), terbium (Tb), and other kinds of heavy rare earth thanks to the improved cooling capability based on the newly developed two-way oil-circulation system. The magnets will be replaced gradually by those free of heavy rare earth, the company said. Motor noise has been reduced by 6 to 8 decibels thanks to the optimized component allocation and newly designed gears, among others.