Podcast “The horn”: Fascination with electric motors

We talk about the different types of electric motors and their essential components, rare earths and where the trend in the industry is going. Clemens also talks about his brakes rubbing again on the KTM 690 Duke R and Sebastian was on the racetrack with his Honda Fireblade SC44.

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Since the electric motor talks less loudly about its work, the drivers usually don’t care. On closer inspection, however, there are fascinating technical differences between synchronous and asynchronous motors, between permanent excitation using a permanent magnet and external excitation using an electromagnet in the rotor. There are also economic circumstances: Since China produces around 95 percent of the neodymium-boron permanent magnets itself, many manufacturers want to make themselves less dependent on this raw material monopoly and rely on external excitation.

BMW’s fifth generation of electric motors relies on external excitation (see the sliders).

(Image: BMW)

Another little-known fact: due to the flexible control of the rotor’s magnetic field, separate excitation can even be more efficient on the motorway than a permanent magnet synchronous machine (PSM).

In the opening credits, Clemens is struggling again with brake judder on the KTM 690 Duke R after extensive repairs and asks for tips from the “obscure” area, because the common causes have all already been investigated or addressed. Sebastian has started driving on the racetrack with his specially purchased Honda Fireblade (SC44), which is very inexpensive compared to the car.


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