Bentley set to transform electric vehicle powertrains with new breakthrough

Project aims to deliver e-axle innovation and remove need for rare-earth magnets

Bentley set to transform electric vehicle powertrains with new breakthrough
OLEV funded, delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, nine-partner UK study aims for real-world application by 2026.

Bentley Motors has announced a three-year research study that promises to transform electric vehicle powertrains, utilising a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures.

The announcment reinforces Bentley’s ambition to lead sustainable luxury mobility and introduce the first fully electric Bentley by 2026.

The study, titled OCTOPUS (Optimised Components, Test and simulation, toolkits for Powertrains which integrate Ultra high-speed motor Solutions) follows an initial 18-month investigation that delivered a technological breakthrough in electric drive systems for high-performance vehicles.

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Building on the UK’s leading electronics research, the resulting electric drive system exceeded the latest permanent magnet motor performance while simultaneously removing the need for both rare-earth magnets and copper windings, delivering a package both cost effective and recyclable at its end of life.

OCTOPUS will take this leading-edge motor, power electronics and packaging transmission design, adding next generation materials, manufacturing processes, simulation and test cycles to deliver a full e-axle powertrain with unique levels of integration and revolutionary performance characteristics suitable for real world application by 2026.

Related: Groupe PSA to launch new electric vehicle modular platform

Stefan Fischer, director of powertrain engineering at Bentley Motors, said: “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 today, there remains challenges and package constraints on the viability and flexibility of electric vehicle powertrains that are able to fully support EV architectures.

“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.”

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