The growing electric vehicle (EV) market is resulting into development of the EV motor controller market. The high demand of these electric vehicles is because they contribute to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and are highly fuel efficient. A motor controller is used to regulate the torque and/or the speed of the traction motor in an electric vehicle.
The motor of an electric vehicle receive power from external or internal power supply. A battery is an essential constant-voltage device. But the actual voltage at terminals is the function of current demand and state of charge depending on the type of battery. Therefore a motor controller is needed to modify the basic system (battery) voltage so that an apt amount of current needed to generate torque desired by a vehicle’s driver, is received by the motor of the vehicle. Thus the vehicle driver can vary the torque of the traction motor at will. The motor controllers may be of DC (battery) or AC type depending upon the DC or AC motor used, respectively.
One of the key drivers of Electric vehicle motor controller market growth is the rising demand for electric vehicles on passenger, commercial and heavy vehicle segments. The conventional fuels used in automobile industry, are depleting, thus result in opting for electric vehicles as an alternative solution. Thus, causing the motor controller market to develop at a higher rate as these would be required in the designing of electric vehicles. The high demand of electric vehicles may also be due to increasing awareness of using cleaner technologies. The motor controller can be easily recharged by using super-capacitors and ultra-capacitors. The high cost of a motor controller can be a hindrance to its market development.
The market for motor controllers is expected to concentrate mainly over China, the USA, Japan and Europe. Especially the USA is likely to encourage greater market development than the other nations due to its shift towards cleaner technologies. This is due to the expected influx of the EV models in industrial and commercial sectors mainly as they are low in emissions and high in fuel efficiency. The market growth in other nations such as India may be slow due to high usage of oil and gas based vehicles and the decreasing oil prices. Another reason for the slow growth is the price-sensitive customers such nations that might be reluctant to opt for electric vehicles. Thus low demand for electric vehicles would hamper the electric vehicle motor controller market development.
The segmentation of electric vehicle motor controller market can be done on the basis of technology. The DC motors employ DC motor controllers and AC motors employ AC motor controllers. The advantages of a DC motor controller over an AC motor controller are its low cost and its simplicity. The benefit of using AC motor controller is its regenerative braking (i.e. recapturing of kinetic energy as the car slows down) ability. This regening adds up to 30% to the range of a car using AC motor controller and saves wear on the brake pads. Electric reverse is easier in electric vehicles using ac motor controllers. Thus there is a possibility of the car manufacturers to prefer AC motor controllers over DC motor controllers.
Some of the key players in EV motor controller market are Siemens AG, Curtis Industries, The Danfoss Group, and Shanghai Edrive Co. Ltd.
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