2019/08/09: Electric cars are stunning performers off the line. In sprint tests they routinely humble high-performance combustion-engined cars many times more expensive than them. But in order to achieve this massive startup torque out of small-diameter, easily packaged motors, most of them use gearboxes. Not multi-speed gearboxes like you'd use with a combustion engine, but single-speed reduction boxes designed to let electric motors spin at high, efficient RPM while the wheels spin slower.
These gearboxes are heavy, complex and expensive – and potentially unnecessary, according to a Texan father-and-son team that claim they've invented a new type of electric motor that can radically simplify the electric powertrain while delivering big efficiency, torque, power and range bonuses.
Where most motors suffer from torque pulsing, or cogging, at slow speeds, which could make an electric car take off in a jerky manner, the HET is able to produce overlapping power pulses around the stator for enormous, smooth torque at slow speeds, and then change its operating patterns by grouping poles together as motor speeds increase. This almost acts like an electronic transmission, emulating six-phase, three-phase, two-phase or one-phase designs and allowing the motor to increase speed without changing its frequency, voltage or current levels.