SEA Electric in Exro powertrain technology link

Canadian firm offers ‘new brain for electric motors’

SEA Electric in Exro powertrain technology link
Tony Fairweather


SEA Electric is expanding its North American footprint, partnering with Exro Technologies to enhance electric powertrain technology for heavy duty trucks and delivery vehicles.

The partners say they will co-develop and test powertrains based on Exro’s Coil Driver and the SEA-Drive technologies.

Coil Driver is part of Exro’s foundation Dynamic Power Management (DPM) system.

A month ago, in a NetworkNewsAudio interview, Exro CEO Sue Ozdemir, who moved there last year from being CEO of General Electric’s Small Industrial Motors division, describes Coil Driver as "a new brain for electric motors … that addresses the issue that the market has with the limitations of electric motors not having speed and torque capabilities, but they didn’t know how to commercialise it".

According to Vancouver-based Exro, DPM improves electric-motor performance and efficiency by separating individual coils to thereby enable coil switching according to power needs.

"Exro also applies its novel approach to generators, by isolating the individual coils and applying DPM to the system, thereby allowing for a greater range of energy creation," it says.

"Exro technology also applies the principle of managing ‘energy’ as it converts at the individual level to lithium ion batteries.

"By managing the charge and discharge of energy at the individual cell level of a lithium ion battery, Exro aims to improve the battery performance and efficiencies, which should result in longer usage and possibly a second life of a battery."

Read about SEA Electric’s views and direction, here

The SEA Electric link marks an Exro push into heavier vehicles, having focused on scooters, snowmobiles and cars.

"This is another application where the Coil Driver advantages are most apparent," Exro chief engineer Eric Hustedt, an expatriate New Zealander and another recent recruit, says.

"By implementing an overall system optimisation in concert with our patented power electronics technology, we can improve gradeability without sacrificing speed range – all without the need for multispeed mechanical gearing, or a dual motor powertrain."

The electric commercial vehicle market is growing quickly, partly because of the efficiencies and performance benefits they offer as well as government policies aimed at accelerating adoption to reduce carbon emissions, the partners say.

They point to estimates by  US analysts Motor Intelligence that the commercial vehicle market will surge from US$19.8 billion in 2020 to US$38.6 billion (A$28.3-A$55.2 billion) in 2025.

"We believe that the trend to electrification of truck and commercial delivery fleets is profound," said Sea Electric CEO, Tony Fairweather.

"We look forward to our partnership with Exro to continue developing powertrains that both serve existing and open new markets in this space."


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