Magna Electronics Acquires BluWāv Systems LLC, Expands Electric Propulsion Capabilities

Jose Michael

Magna Electronics, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., has acquired BluWāv Systems LLC (formerly Wavecrest Laboratories), a developer and supplier of controls, motors and energy-management systems for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)

Magna Electronics says that the acquisition of BluWāv enhances its position in developing and supplying components and systems to the emerging automotive market for electric and hybrid vehicles.

BluWāv provides technical leadership in multiple product areas for Magna Electronics as well as our other operating units. In addition, this acquisition will allow Magna to bring innovative electric/hybrid-vehicle systems to market faster, while simultaneously developing the next-generation systems for tomorrow’s hybrid and electric vehicles.

—Carlos Mazzorin, President of Magna Electronics

BluWāv has concentrated on five main product areas:

  • Motor design. WaveCrest Laboratories was the developer of the dynamically reconfigurable Adaptive Motor system, which consists of a multiple-phase, DC brushless motor arranged such that the rotor surrounds and rotates around the center-mounted stator, rather than rotor rotating within the outer stator. (Earlier post.)

  • Motor control hardware, software, and drive electronics.

  • Vehicle requirements analysis, system optimization, and performance validation.

  • Vehicle control systems.

  • Energy storage systems.

At the 2008 SAE Hybrid Vehicle Technology Symposium earlier this year, BluWāv exhibited its Roadrunner four-wheel electric drive system applied in a military vehicle.

The RoadRunner system as shown on a 1,500 kg off-road military vehicle used four 46 kW (peak) Adaptive Motor hub motors combined with a 5.1 kWh Li-ion battery pack with A123Systems cells to support an electric range of 15 miles (25 km) with a top speed of 75 mpg (121 kph). The hub motors provide 20 kW of continuous power, with 620 Nm of continuous torque and 1,100 Nm of peak torque. Speed range is 0-900 rpm reversible.

BluWāv has also shown a 2WD electric roadster, and a 4WD in-wheel motor series hybrid.

Magna International, the most diversified automotive supplier in the world, is actively developing a hybrid electric car that will serve as a demonstrator for sub-systems and components of electric and hybrid vehicles. Magna told Reuters that the development is on schedule for 2010. The acquisition of BluWāv bolsters that effort.

Magna has approximately 82,000 employees in 241 manufacturing operations and 62 product development and engineering centers in 23 countries.

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