Industry White Papers

Traction Drives in Electric Vehicles

August 30, 2020 by STMicroelectronics

The intent of this document is to help develop a baseline, intuitive understanding of traction drives in battery electric vehicles (BEV).

Consumers are increasingly accepting hybrid and battery electric vehicles (BEV) as attractive alternatives to vehicles based on internal combustion engines (ICE). However, the industry is facing some difficult challenges to ensure that electric vehicle adoption continues at its presently torrid pace. Some of these include:

  • Cost 
  • Critical material availability
  • Efficiency 

While some of these challenges are being addressed through innovation and evolutionary design practice, many industry experts believe that there also needs to be some technological breakthroughs if EV is to reach cost parity with ICE based vehicles. The traction drive is the muscle of an electric vehicle in that it takes energy (produced by fuel cells or stored in batteries) and converts it into motion.