Fort Worth-based Linear Labs is moving into “phase two” of manufacturing its smart electric motors. On the heels of a $68.9 million economic incentive deal with the City of Fort Worth last month, the startup has announced mass production of an energy-efficient, high-torque motor to expand plug-and-play power uses in e-bikes, e-scooters, autonomous robots, and more.
Production plans for the motor are based on “extremely high customer demand,” Brad Hunstable, founder and CEO of Linear Labs, said in a statement. The startup will ramp up the production of its M200 e-mobility motor starting this September.
The company says it’s seen success with white-label manufacturing for corporate customers in the automotive, HVAC, and premium efficiency industrial motor industries. Now it wants to seed more off-the-shelf uses with the powerful motor.
It’s a tech advance that has “as big of an impact on minimizing global energy consumption as any major battery breakthrough could have,” says Michael Van Steenburg, vice president of Technology at Linear Labs.
According to Van Steenburg, the torque-dense M200 is really “four motors working as one.” It has about twice the average efficiency across a full speed range with twice the torque of all of Linear Labs’ competition in this market, he says.
In fact, according to Linear Labs, the motor is “so torque dense that four Linear Labs M200 motors in a four-wheeled vehicle can provide more peak torque than a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S engine.” That’s because a smaller distributed electric powertrain is combined with a quad-motor volume of just over four liters, the company says.
Hunstable says it’s time to make the technology available to everyone, after building for corporate clients’ custom needs for the last 10 months. Mass production means that the motor will be manufactured at lower volumes “without extensive commitment,” making it more accessible for broad uses, he says.
Energy 2.0 in Fort Worth
Hunstable aims to bring advanced automation manufacturing to the “rapidly growing home of Energy 2.0” in Fort Worth.
The startup’s new motor has broad applications for those who want to harness the power of HET. HET is short for the company’s core product, the Hunstable Electric Turbine. Described as “revolutionary,” Linear Labs’ powerful, highly efficient electric motors and generator products have broad application in mobility, HVAC, and many industrial uses.
Hunstable, who co-founded Linear Labs in 2014 with his father, inventor and CTO Fred Hunstable, is in the midst of planning a new advanced manufacturing and research headquarters that can support thousands of jobs over the next decade. The company’s new public-private partnership with the City of Fort Worth, finalized in June, aims to further the city as the next tech innovation hub.
The company will begin to ramp production of the e-mobility motor to start fulfilling orders by Sept. 15, Hunstable says. The M200 motor and its controller are “100-percent designed and manufactured in the U.S.A” using Linear Labs’ HET technology. According to Hunstable, the high-efficiency, high-torque motors comprise a new class of electric motors that can produce up to “twice the torque of competitor motors or provides the same torque in half the size.”
That means the motors, which use rare-earth or ferrite magnets, can extend range and battery life to propel e-bikes and e-scooters up steeper inclines for longer periods of time, for example. The M200 motor also can work underwater for marine applications and has greater efficiency across a full range of speeds, which is ideal for variable speed applications, according to the company.
Hunstable says distribution initially will be allocated between Linear Labs and several “Tier One sub-contractors” in order to expedite manufacturing and delivery of motors to early customers. Linear Labs expects to manufacture and deliver around 100,000 of the motors by the end of 2021.
The M200 motor will initially be available in low-voltage ranges, with higher voltages available upon request. Go here, for additional details and specs on the M200 motor.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.