Automotive research at Concordia benefits from $500,000 in funding

May 30, 2012

Montreal, May 30, 2012 - Electric vehicles will be the way of the future - once people can actually afford them. A recent global shortage of the permanent magnets required by the vehicles' motor drives means that prices, already prohibitive for many consumers, are skyrocketing.

There may now be an alternative for powering those high-tech motors, thanks to Concordia's Power Electronics and Energy Research (PEER) team led by Pragasen Pillay, and including Sheldon Williamson and Luiz Lopes, who are working to produce a motor that is less dependent on costly magnets. The group's research engine is now revving thanks to almost $500,000 in funding from Canada's automotive research program, the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence.

Along with the help of Ambrish Chandra from the École de Technologie Supérieur, the group of researchers will embark on a two-year R&D project led by Pillay. Their goal? Reduce the need for - if not eliminate - permanent magnets while cutting costs and improving performance.

To remain competitive, they will use existing manufacturing facilities instead of developing a completely new process. This allows their industrial partner, Boucherville-based TM4 Electrodynamic Systems - a leader in the design and production of electric solutions for the auto industry, to minimize their capital costs while adapting the manufacturing to the new designs.

This is one of 40 projects that will benefit from a $22-million investment by AUTO21. The funding supports automotive R&D projects at Canadian universities in partnership with more than 100 public- and private-sector companies.

"The ideas, products and technologies generated by these AUTO21-funded research projects will create jobs and businesses, help develop highly skilled people, strengthen our economy and improve the long-term competitiveness of our Canadian automotive industry," says Minister of State Gary Goodyear, who announced the funding May 29 at the AUTO21 conference in Montreal.
Related links: Media contact:
Cléa Desjardins - Senior Advisor, External Communications | Concordia University
Phone: 514-848-2424 ext. 5065 | Cell: 514-909-2999

Concordia University

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