Development of an Electric Drive Motor for the Honda FCX Clarity

Akinobu Iwai
Honda R&D Co.,Ltd.


A new type of DC brushless motor was developed as the drive motor for a fuel cell electric vehicle, the Honda FCX Clarity. A more compacted design was achieved by integrating a power drive unit in addition to using a gearbox with a coaxial structure. The magnetic circuit was also optimized by implementing an IPM rotor to gain higher rotation speed to improve maximum speed as well as higher output to improve engine performance. The drive unit reduced the length by 162 mm and the height by 240 mm through the innovations above when compared to conventional models. Furthermore, the drive motor performance reached a maximum output of 100 kW and a maximum torque of 256 Nm. This motor has contributed to expanding cockpit space and increasing drive
performance and cruising distance above conventional 2.4 liter gasoline vehicles.

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