Since the early 1900's demand for fuel efficient vehicles has motivated the development of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Unfortunately, some components used in these vehicles are expensive and complex. AC motors, complex electronic controllers and complex battery management systems are currently used in electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles. This research examines various motors and speed control methods in an attempt to help designers identify which motors would be best suited for an EV powertrain application. The feasibility of using DC motors coupled with an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), to obtain an innovative new electric or hybrid electric powertrain is also presented. The results of this research include an extensive review of the many motor types including a comparison chart and motor hierarchy. An experiment was designed and built to test motorspeed control methods. Testing with two DC separately-excited motors and a differential as an IVT was also conducted. These tests revealed that field weakening appears to be a viable low-costspeed-control method. Testing of these motors, coupled with an IVT revealed that the output of a differential or planetary gear set can be controlled by varying the speed of the inputs. Combining this information in a product development mentality led to the concept of using one DC motor as a power or traction motor while another motor acts as a speed controller, with the method of speedcontrol on the speed control motor being field weakening. This concept allows most of the power to be delivered at an efficient rate with a simple form of speed control. This concept may also eliminate the need for expensive, complex electronic motor controllers. This approach could be used to improve the safety and reduce battery management requirements by lowering the operating voltage of the entire system.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Benjamin Groen, electric vehicle, motor selection, motor testing, CVT, IVT, low cost, DC, AC, LabView, shunt wound, DC motor, hybrid