“We have made no secret of our ambition to lead the way in the delivery of sustainable luxury mobility, Beyond100,” stated Stefan Fischer, Director of Powertrain Engineering at Bentley Motors. “We have a clear roadmap to offer a hybrid option for every model by 2023, starting with the Bentayga Hybrid, and our next goal moves towards a fully electric Bentley by 2026.”
However, there are hurdles to be cleared before the company can deliver a production version of the lovely EXP 100 GT to anxious customers. “Today, there remains challenges and package constraints on the viability and flexibility of electric vehicle powertrains that are able to fully support EV architectures,” Fischer conceded. “With the industry, technologies, and cars changing faster than ever before, research projects such as OCTOPUS are crucial to deliver innovative technologies and overcome challenges for the next generation of mobility solutions.”
To achieve this, Bentley has partnered with U.K. technology leaders on OCTOPUS. The participants and their responsibilities are:
- Bentley Motors – Specification setting, vehicle integration plan, and system test
- Advanced Electric Machines Ltd – Motor manufacturing and systems assembly
- Advanced Electric Machines Research Ltd – Motor and transmission design
- The Thinking Pod Innovations Ltd & Nottingham University – Power electronics optimization and alternative wide-band gap system design
- The Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) at the University of Bath – Integrated system analysis and proof of concept validation testing
- HiETA Technologies Ltd – Additive manufacturing component design and manufacture for thermal management including stator core housing, power electronics, and E-axle oil cooling
- FD Sims Ltd – Next-generation wire technology development
- Talga Technologies Ltd – 2D materials development for next-generation winding technologies
- Diamond Light Source – UK’s national synchrotron light source providing access to X-ray facilities for measurements
- Hartree Centre (Science and Technology Facilities Council) – Advanced system testing and co-simulation toolkit development
Partner Advanced Electric Machines provides a little more detail on the contributions from various participants:
The Diamond Light Source, the UK's most powerful x-ray source, will scan inside the motor as it spins at up to 30,000 rpm to monitor it in action.
AEMR will use Europe’s most powerful supercomputer that is available to industry to model all the details of the motor, power electronics, and transmission system as they operate.
The academics at the University of Bath and University of Nottingham are tasked with providing the latest thinking in test and simulation.
Hieta, Talga, and FD Sims will contribute the latest materials and manufacturing techniques to deliver even lower weight and higher performance.
TTPi’s job is to deliver an integrated power electronics system. And AEMR is toiling to wring still more efficiency and torque from its already market-leading electric motor design.
“Having already worked closely with Bentley to successfully deliver a proof of concept, we look forward to this new project to push the performance, packaging, and sustainability of electric vehicle drives to a new level, removing the need for rare-earths and copper and achieving the highest levels of system integration,” said Advanced Electric Machines Group CEO, Dr. James Widmer.