ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, has launched the second generation of its iCARe electrical steels at a trade fair in Berlin.

According to the steelmaker, iCARe steel grades play a central role in the construction of electric motors which are used in both electric vehicles and conventional cars.

For electric vehicles, claims ArcelorMittal, the advantages of the new, second generation grades are reduced use of electricity at all levels of performance, greater strength, less heat generation and improved magnetic properties. This results in improved engine performance and an increased driving range.

Sigrid Jacobs, worldwide development director for ArcelorMittal’s electrical steels, said that the main challenge continues to be the limited distance over which an electric car can be driven. “That is why we support manufacturers of drive systems in their efforts to develop more efficient and better-performing motors by using improved materials like the new iCARe steels,” she said.

Second generation iCARe steels make improved power density possible, compared with the first generation, which was introduced in 2012, also in Berlin. This is reflected in less weight for the same motor performance, which in turn results in increased driving range, it is claimed.

ArcelorMittal claims that this also applies to the many small motors on board the car, because an improved energy balance saves electricity and thereby extends the range. “The introduction of iCARe into automobile construction allows the industry to bring more power and more driving range into the picture," said Jacobs.

The market for e-cars and e-bikes in Europe is growing strongly, and the number of electric motors used in both conventional and electric cars is also rising. In an average-priced conventional car, there can be as many as 70 electric motors, operating everything from power windows, to headlight controllers, to power seat positioners. Luxury cars raise the number of motors to more than 100.