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To the future with the Saietta axial flux motor

There are 300 million vehicles on India’s roads. Light-category vehicles like mopeds and tuk-tuks are rapidly being electrified, an opportunity that British company Saietta is aiming to capitalise on.

Wicher Kist, CEO of Saietta Electric Drive, explains more about the value of being awarded a grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Saietta is developing manufacturing capability of its axial flux e-motor at scale in the UK.

“In India they register 23 million vehicles a year, 20 million are two-wheelers and en-masse they are now going electric and that’s a trend we spotted years ago.

“The axial flux motor can produce more power with the same amount of energy, but has always been too expensive to go mass volume”, says Kist.

Saietta successfully developed the motor technology on a previous APC-funded collaborative research and development project and now this latest project – with a value £5.3 million, of which £2.6 million is funded through the APC – will refine the design for manufacture, develop the capability and processes for high-volume production, and create a UK-based production facility.

It will put the UK at the forefront of high-value, axial flux motor manufacture, creating jobs and increasing revenues across the supply chain and is very closely aligned with the objectives of the UK Industrial Strategy. The project will run until July 2023.

Saietta has also received backing from the Automotive Transformation Fund, through an initiative on the Scale-up Readiness Validation (SURV) programme to prepare its Sunderland factory for manufacture.

Saietta will on-shore and scale-up the production of heavy-duty e-drive products, investing in people, prototypes, processes, and equipment to commission a pilot line.

“We are creating the best pilot factory on the planet to make electric motors. We develop in the UK, we define the process in the UK, we set up the line in UK and we can even produce the first samples. You can even pick up the line and ship it to any location around the world.”

With the support of the APC the company’s growth has been dramatic. Speaking at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Show in September 2022, Kist said:

“We were 30 people 14 months ago. We listed the company on the London Stock Exchange and now we are 180 people…in 14 months! To be honest, I can’t even see the limits. We have the biggest pension funds as investors in Saietta now, and they have confidence from us having been rewarded with these fantastic, positive and constructive UK grants.”