ZF Magnetic-Free Motors: The Future of Electric Vehicles?

ZF-Magnetic-Free-Motors-The-Future-of-Electric-Vehicles-1 Electric-vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not only characterized by the absence of exhaust fumes, but also by their unique motors. A leader in the development of innovative motors is ZF Friedrichshafen with its magnetless motor for electric vehicles.

The pursuit of magnetless motors.

Many global companies, realizing the growing market for electric vehicles, are prioritizing the development of magnetless motors. ZF’s method consists of a new integration of an inductive converter into the motor rotor. This approach not only reduces the size of the motor, but also provides performance that is as good as traditional permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs), which are currently the industry favorite.

ZF’s design bypasses the environmental and logistical issues associated with the use of rare-earth magnets. Conventional motors rely heavily on these magnets, the mining of which poses a serious environmental threat and disrupts supply chains.

What makes ZF different.

The essence of ZF’s innovation lies in the inductively excited synchronous motor (I2SM). Instead of external brushes or rings, which have their own problems, the ZF motor utilizes contactless induction. In this design, the inductive emitter is located at the very center of the rotor, resulting in a significant reduction in the axial length of the motor.

In addition, the I2SM can sometimes outperform a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PSM), especially at high speeds, due to the absence of heat-generating permanent magnets.

Understanding contactless induction.

So how does contactless induction actually work? Simply put, it’s a way of transmitting electricity or data without a physical connection. Electromagnetic waves are used to create a magnetic field that induces a current in a nearby device. This method does away with components such as brushes, which can wear out and reduce efficiency.

Why magnetless motors are important.

The advent of magnetless motors signals a change in the electric vehicle industry. These motors have many advantages, including:

  • Efficiency: By eliminating heat loss and friction, they maximize energy conversion.
  • Environmentally friendly: By eliminating rare earth metals, they provide an eco-friendly alternative.
  • Durability: With fewer components that can break down, they guarantee longevity.
  • An efficient electric motor is crucial for a thriving EV sector. The electric vehicle market is projected to reach a staggering $1,105 billion by 2030, so innovations such as ZF’s magnetless motor can increase range, reduce charging times and generally increase the appeal of EVs.


    As the electric vehicle market continues to evolve, ZF Friedrichshafen is setting new benchmarks in the development of magnet-free motors. Innovative solutions that address the challenges posed by rare-earth magnets represent a promising direction for the sustainable development of future electric vehicles. The progress of magnet-free technology will undoubtedly impact the field of electric motors in the coming years.

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