Integrated Electric Traction Drive Thermal Management

NREL investigates approaches for integrated electric traction drives, combining power electronics and electric motor cooling systems into a single thermal management solution for a compact, power-dense integrated drive unit.


Integration concepts: (a) separate power electronics enclosure attached to the motor case, (b) power electronics distributed/mounted radially on the motor casing, and (c) power electronics integrated axially in the motor front/back plate.

Integration of power electronics into the electric motor achieves higher power densities of the electric traction drive systems, enabling volume, mass, and cost savings on their enclosures, interconnections, and cooling systems and overall number of required parts. As a result, the electric vehicle propulsion system is lighter, more compact, and more efficient.


Our integrated electric traction drive research includes:

  • Thermal modeling and comparison of cooling concepts for integrated electric drive components
  • Developing novel cooling techniques and configurations to achieve sufficient cooling for both the electric motor and the power electronics
  • Collaborating with other research labs and university teams to design, develop, and evaluate integrated traction drives for electric vehicles.


See power electronics and electric machines publications.