YASA awarded £21.2 million funding to develop in-wheel motor

22 September 2023

YASA has announced securing £21.2million in Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC).

This funding will support a new consortium with partners Domin and Cranfield University to create a patented “In-wheel” motor design which aims to revolutionise existing EV architecture standards and bring a new level of electrified performance.

The sought after deal is part of the UK government’s £89 million funding to develop cutting edge new electric vehicle technology to support the development of innovative, low carbon technologies. Led by YASA, the consortium combines the expertise of YASA partners Domin and Cranfield University to develop a new electric propulsion unit that is not only small and light enough to substantially improve driving dynamics, but also transform the overall architecture and design of future electric vehicles - as showcased earlier this year in the all-electric Mercedes Vision One-Eleven Hypercar concept featuring YASA technology. 

By combining YASA’s patented lightweight axial flux motor technology with Domin’s world-leading expertise in active suspension solutions, the project will create new electric propulsion technologies for electric vehicles. Leveraging its world-leading simulation capabilities and test facilities, Cranfield University will assist the consortium with digital twin modelling and vehicle powertrain design optimisation. 

Reducing weight in EV’s has many advantages, an example being the removal of the driveshaft by placing the motors into the wheels. This process is where you could make weight savings on the overall vehicle architecture, as well as gaining space in the centre of the vehicle for additional battery storage.

The project’s three partners will focus on improving electric powertrain design, weight efficiency and dramatically increasing torque density. Thanks to YASA’s unique axial flux electric motor topology, YASA’s current generation of in-market products already deliver 250bhp from a 12kg electric motor. This project aims to improve on this already category-leading performance by an order of magnitude, leading to more efficient electric vehicles and more exciting electric driving experiences that help accelerate consumer EV adoption.

Dr Tim Woolmer, CTO and Founder of YASA said:

“Headquartered in Oxford, YASA has a long history in working with the APC to drive forward  automotive innovation. By partnering with Domin and Cranfield University, we are leveraging world-leading expertise and creating a new consortium that will move the needle on Electric Vehicle design and performance. It’s important to remember that we are at the beginning of electric vehicle innovation - partnerships like these will ensure we realise the full potential of new electrification technologies and reach the global goal of net-zero mobility faster.” 

Ian Constance, APC Chief Executive said:

This latest round of funding coincides with the APC’s 10th anniversary. We have seen over £1.4 billion of investment into automotive projects since the APC was set up, and I am proud of the impact that we have made here in the UK. This latest announcement includes a diverse set of OEMs and suppliers that demonstrate the strength of UK automotive. They will further add to our portfolio of innovative projects and continue to drive the UK to deliver on its net zero ambition.”

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