Competition (even if at times or war) has always been the mother of technical advance. Just like those who invented variable-valve timing engine designs to reduce fuel consumption, electric appliances companies are now competing against each other to make more and more efficient and powerful electric motors for hair dryers/washers. All these could benefit the auto industry, eventually.
Devices released this year, for example, by Toshiba Home Appliance Corp., use “variable magnet motors”, making it possible to regulate the magnetic force of magnetic fields in the motor. By changing the magnetic force of permanent magnets, they can change the motor’s characteristics between low-speed and high-speed operation.
The same goes with Hitachi whose appliances division developed a “switchable winding design”, making it possible to select parallel or series windings. Their new technology was also used in 2010 washer/dryer models. Panasonic, on the other hand, has had a dual-rotor motor in devices built as early as 2008. TechOn! presents more of these companies’ technological advances in a multiple-paged article.
The electric vehicle industry will surely benefit from these innovations, and will make electric cars even more efficient and thus drivable, making them also compete with their old-fashioned petrol-powered siblings. Making cars more drivable would surely accelerate their adoption by the market, and increase the competition in the battery research sector and the alternative energy production/transmission, respectively.