Motorbrain Project

Nanoelectronics for Electric Vehicles Intelligent Failsafe PowerTrain


  • The MotorBrain Project develops sustainable drive train technologies and control concepts/ platforms for inherent safe and highly efficient powertrains of the 3rd Electric Vehicle Generation
The envisaged EV-Powertrains shall enable significant steps ahead in terms of:
  • Overall energy efficiency: Energy efficiency shall be improved by up to 20 %. (Figure 1)
  • Smart and intrinsic failsafe electrical powertrain concepts
  • New highly efficient smart motor management systems
  • Intelligent integration concepts for passive components, sensors and power converters
  • Enhanced sustainability by improving recyclability and alleviating the dependency on rare-earth magnets.
In particular the safety issues of the next Generation EV will be improved by developing and integrating:
  • Redundancy concepts at different subsystem levels
  • Sensors in combination with advanced control algorithms and powerful multi-core ECU’s
  • Enhancing Intelligence with embedded software in a highly distributed control system



Simulation an Development of novel EV-Powertrain Concepts an Components targeting the Controller-, Switching- and Actuator Layer


The project addresses the highly challenging research on power and high voltage electronic systems beyond state of the art. Smart miniaturized systems including subsystems, system layers and vehicle demonstrators will be derived. Via the interaction of all powertrain systems layers it is possible to comprise the full supply chain for EVs (Figure 2).By increasing energy efficiency, reliability and safety of electric vehicles combined with significant cost reductions (e.g. through innovative integrated packaging approaches for the joint use of the engine cooling systems and power electronics as well as new manufacturing processes), and opening up of the standardization potentials for different levels of control, MotorBrain shall enable the market breakthrough for electro mobility. In detail this progress shall be achieved within the 8 Supply Chains:


  • Supply Chain 1 (Lead by CRF): Smart integrated EV powertrain based on low power SMC e-motor for distributed propulsion with integrated power electronics and passive components
  • Supply Chain 2 (Lead by Siemens): Smart integrated EV powertrain based on SM motor with moulded rotor and integrated sensors
  • Supply Chain 3 (Lead by Green Power): Synchronous reluctance motor
  • Supply Chain 4 (Lead by QinetiQ): Advanced cell chemistries, scalable battery topologies and packaging
  • Supply Chain 5 (Lead by tbd.): Highly efficient bidirectional charger
  • Supply Chain 6 (Lead by Infineon RO): Torque sensors for integrated EV powertrains
  • Supply Chain 7 (Lead by Infineon AT): Current and angle sensors for integrated EV powertrains
  • Supply Chain 8 (Lead by Infineon DE): Multicore based ECU for integrated EV powertrain

Since the development plans are challenging and ambitious - MotorBrain under the lead of Infineon - has brought together some of the most powerful European companies and research institutes, such as CRF, Siemens, ZF, ST, AVL and VW. The hole consortium provides an outstanding knowledge mix to meet needs of the next Generation EV-Powertrains.




Highly integrated propulsion system


MotorBrain sensor-, power and controller electronics:

  • Design and Simulation of multiphase powertrain systems with special regards to efficiency, economical and safety aspects
  • Development and assessment of novel smart and fault-tolerant motor topologies which exploit the possibilities of multi phase designs for higher efficiency, advanced integration possibilities and more safety
  • Exploit new innovative magnetic materials - such as soft magnetic compounds (SMC) - to minimize the dependency on rare earth magnets
  • Incorporation of fault-detection techniques and fault mitigation strategies, fault tolerant power electronic converter topologies and fail-safe control strategies
  • Improving the performance and the integration abilities of fast switching inverters as well as passive components for highly integrated EV powertrains
  • Study new advanced controlling techniques for distributed and central motor concepts

Investigate new process technologies to lower manufacturing cost and simplify recyclin.




Development of multiple electrical machine concepts using MotorBrain sensor-, power- and controller electronics:

  • Supply Chain 1 (Lead by CRF) : Smart integrated EV powertrain based on low power SMC e-motor for distributed propulsion with   integrated power electronics and passive components  (Figure 1)
  • Supply Chain 2 (Lead by Siemens) : Smart integrated EV powertrain based on SM motor with moulded rotor and integrated sensors (Figure 2)
  • Supply Chain 3 (Lead by Green Power) : Synchronous reluctance motor (Figure 3)

Within the Supply Chains of the Work Package different motor concepts and typologies will be investigated and realized. The main focus will be an enhanced efficiency, safety and a lower dependency on rare earth magnets - notwithstanding the exploitation of the possibilities the novel multicore controllers, sensors and inverters offer as well as the simulation of the whole powertrain.

The usage of SMC-components is of vital importance for the project since it application offers:

  • More efficient electric motors due to lower losses at higher frequencies and higher pole pairs counts
  • Advanced flux distributions and concentrations to substitute rare earth magnets (Figure 4)

Facilitates new design possibilities for a higher degree of integration and automatization during production.