The number of electric motors in use is rapidly expanding, according to a recent report from Navigant Research. Worldwide sales of electric drive motors will grow from $965 million in 2013 to more than $2.8 billion by 2020.
“While sales of battery electric vehicles are increasing, the growth is slow and steady rather than exponential,” says David Alexander, senior research analyst. “That will lead to a similar growth curve in the electric vehicle motor market, which is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.6 percent over the next 7 years.”
Since General Motors introduced the EV1 in the mid-1990s, automakers have favored alternating current (AC) motors. Existing motors for other industrial applications have so far not met the exacting standards of automotive production, according to the report. Although numerous new companies have sprung up to develop interesting AC motor alternatives that could disrupt the industry in the future, almost all of the automakers have chosen to produce their own motors, relying on permanent magnet or AC induction designs, the report concludes.