Press Release

NSK Develops Quiet, Low-Friction Ball Bearing for EV Drive Motors

NSK Develops Quiet, Low-Friction Ball Bearing for EV Drive Motors

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) today announced that it has developed a quiet, low-friction ball bearing that achieves low friction at a wide range of temperatures, and quiet operations in cold temperatures. Its main application will be for electric vehicle (EV) drive motors.

NSK improved the grease fluidity and optimized the bearing to reduce grease agitation resistance and bearing vibration during operation in cold temperatures. As a result, this new ball bearing for drive motors can achieve low friction and quiet operations, thereby helping to provide improved driving range and quietness for EVs.

NSK is targeting 500 million yen in global annual sales in 2020 for this new product.

Development Background

As the market for EVs has grown, they are being exposed to a wider range of temperatures, from subzero to extreme heat. As such, it has become imperative that ball bearings used to support EV drive motors have low noise in cold temperature conditions and improved durability in high temperature conditions. Additionally, higher efficiency bearings are needed in order to improve EV driving range, which has been a challenge for EVs.

In response to this situation, NSK has developed a quiet, low-friction ball bearing for EV drive motors with the following features in order to achieve low friction as well as quiet operations and durability under a wide range of temperatures.

Changes and Concerns of Environment Surrounding EVs

Product Features

1. Significant improvement of quiet operations in cold temperatures
By increasing the fluidity of grease in cold temperatures and optimizing the bearing, NSK has achieved quiet operations by greatly reducing the vibration that would normally occur in cold temperatures.
2. Meets severe durability requirements of high temperature environments
In using grease that has a base oil with good heat resistance in combination with an optimized bearing, NSK has created a product that suppresses grease degradation and grease leaking, thereby sustaining durability under high temperature conditions.
3. Low friction
By optimizing the types and amount of grease thickener, NSK has reduced agitation resistance. As a result, this new product achieves 20 to 40% less friction than the conventional product.
New Product Configuration and Features

Product Benefits

This new product helps improve the comfort and driving range of EVs.

New Product Benefits & Verification Results