UK-based automotive electrification specialist Equipmake launched the Ampere-220 e-axle: a compact, lightweight, high-power electric drive system for manufacturers of high-performance electric vehicles.
Debuted at LCV-Cenex, it combines one of the most advanced 3D-printed electric motors in the world with all power electronics, including the company’s own silicon carbide inverter, and an integrated transmission system in a compact unit that directly powers the vehicle’s axle, bringing a step change in off-the-shelf performance for electric sports cars and supercars.
At its heart, the e-axle features the Ampere electric motor, which draws on both Equipmake’s world-leading expertise in electric motors – featuring a spoke rotor design which has recently also featured in the Ariel HIPERCAR in the form of Equipmake’s APM motor – and pioneering knowledge in additive manufacturing and thermal engineering from Bristol-based HiETA.
Extremely lightweight yet efficient and cost-effective, Ampere has peak power of 220kW and a maximum motor speed of 30,000rpm. Weighing just under 20kg, it offers power density of 11kW per kg – more than twice that of a conventional electric motor. The key to its performance is its combination of Equipmake’s spoke design with additive manufacturing, allowing Ampere’s metal structure to be 3D-printed, rather than milled from a solid billet.
Bringing many advantages, firstly, metal is only put where it is needed. Secondly, thermally efficient thin walls and optimised fine surface details are combined directly with the motor’s structure, replacing multi-part assemblies with a single, complex architecture that has exceptional cooling ability, is lightweight, has low inertia and allows for greatly increased rotational speed.
Making its debut in the Ampere-220 e-axle, the advanced electric motor is combined with all necessary power electronics, including Equipmake’s high-performance silicon carbide-based inverter, and an integrated transmission system too, resulting in a state-of-the-art, highly compact and lightweight electric drive system that is ready to be integrated into a high-performance electric vehicle.
Debuted in twin-motor specification, Ampere-220 e-axle offers 440kW peak power per axle with a total unit weight of just 85kg. Equipmake can also develop a single-motor e-axle application with 220kW of peak power per axle.
The Ampere-220 e-axle is designed, engineered, and manufactured at Equipmake’s headquarters in Snetterton, Norfolk, where the company provides the complete electric vehicle solution, offering everything from motors to fully electrified platforms, supporting primarily the automotive and aerospace sectors. On site, it designs and manufactures its fully integrated electric bus chassis for an increasingly international customer base.
Ian Foley, Equipmake CEO, said: “Equipmake has always been at the forefront of innovation in electric motors, with our APM range offering class-leading power densities thanks to their compact, lightweight designs. Ampere showcases the next leap, and combined with our own power electronics, including our silicon carbide inverter, and transmission system, we have created the Ampere-220 e-axle. With such a huge amount of performance in a compact, lightweight electric drive unit, one that is also ISO 26262-compliant and ASIL-D ready, Ampere-220 e-axle provides the total off-the-shelf high performance electric solution for manufacturers of electric sports cars and supercars. It further underlines Equipmake’s position as a leading provider of state-of-the-art electrification systems to the automotive industry.”