Editor's note: Japanese supplier Aisin manufacturers traction motors for hybrids and EVs. An earlier version of this story said otherwise.
When it comes to electric vehicles, efficiency is money.
Even a 2 or 3 percent gain in efficiency could save automakers hundreds of dollars per EV — edging them closer to cost parity with internal combustion vehicles and, more importantly, improved profitability.
When the auto industry trains its product development guns on a component, that item usually gets smaller, lighter, simpler, more powerful and more efficient. Oftentimes a component comes through that transformation costing less as engineers find ways to reduce precious metal content and other raw materials and to improve manufacturing efficiency.