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4, NOVEMBER 2005
EMI Noise Control Methods Suitable for Electric
Vehicle Drive Systems
Nobuyoshi Mutoh, Senior Member, IEEE, Mikiharu Nakanishi, Masaki Kanesaki, and Joji Nakashima
AbstractMethods to control electromagnetic interference
(EMI) noises, especially common mode currents and radiations
that are generated in electric vehicle (EV) drive systems, were
studied using an electric vehicle (EV) prototype. Fast fourier trans-
form (FFT) analyses of the voltage and current appearing in the
EV drive systems showed that electromagnetic interference (EMI)
noise sources are produced by voltage uctuations occurring at the
time of switching operations and the produced noise sources cause
common mode currents to ow into the ground when the body
frame is connected to the ground. Moreover, the owing common
mode currents induce radiated EMI noises, while the generated
EMI noises are transmitted between the inverter, batteries, and
motors. Thus, the produced radiated EMI noises have an effect
on nearby vehicles. A method was proposed that controls common
mode currents produced in EV drive systems so as to prevent a
series resonance phenomenon from occurring in common current
paths formed in EV drive systems. This method is also effective in
controlling radiated EMI noises. Furthermore, to control radiated
EMI noises, another method was proposed that cancels the surface
currents owing in P and N power transmission lines between the
inverter and batteries. Effectiveness of these proposed EMI noise
control methods was veried from simulations and experiments.
Index TermsCommon mode current, electric vehicles (EVs),
electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise, multilayer printed
power circuit, radiation, series resonance.
TUDIES on new electric vehicles (EVs), including hybrid
vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, are actively being performed
because EVs are one means to cope with environmental prob-
lems such as exhaust gas emission and energy starvation issues.
EVs are characterized by having motor drive systems controlled
with power converters such as inverters and dc/dc converters
with high operation frequencies. As switch operations are be-
ing repeated at high frequencies in power converters, various
electromagnetic interference (EMI) noises, such as differential
and common mode noises and radiated noises, are produced and
spread through power transmission lines [1] [3]. The generated
EMI noises may invade various electronic devices and receivers
installed in EV systems, where there is a possibility that per-
formance may be deteriorated or malfunctions may be caused.
Moreover, EMI may occur if radiated EMI noises are emitted
from each EV when EVs are running side by side in times of
trafc congestion and so on. Because the frequency of these
Manuscript received September 3, 2004; revised July 15, 2005.
N. Mutoh is with the Graduate School of Tokyo Metropolitan University,
Tokyo 191-0065, Japan (e-mail:
M. Nakanishi, M. Kanesaki, and J. Nakashima are with the Graduate School
of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TEMC.2005.857893
situations will increase when EVs are widely used, problems
with EMIs occurring in EVs should be solved in order for EVs
to be accepted as city cars from the viewpoint of safety and reli-
ability. For EVs, because noise sources always move with EVs,
countermeasures against EMI noises should be studied that can
simultaneously control both the conducted noises and the radi-
ated noises. However, the EMI noise control methods proposed
until now are almost all methods that reduce conducted EMI
noises using ltering techniques such as active cancellers with
power devices [4] [6]. If noise countermeasures include using
parts such as active lters driven by switching devices, newEMI
noise paths may be produced from the added parts. EMI noises
with high frequencies that may easily spread should be directly
controlled in noise sources such as inverters and motors. More-
over, because transient EMI noises of 1 MHz or more focused on
in this study are generated by the series resonance phenomenon
occurring when power devices are switched on and off, it is dif-
cult to generally discuss countermeasures against these EMI
noises from the viewpoint of pulsewidth modulation (PWM)
control methods because the transient switching characteristics
change with the distributed parasitic circuit parameters such as
stray capacitors that depend on how the EV drive systems are
In this article, characteristics of EMI noises generated in
EV drive systems are claried through experiments. Then,
controlling methods for common mode currents and radiated
EMI noises produced by differential mode noises transmitted to
power transmission lines are proposed.
A. Measurement System
EMI noises produced in EVs, which include conducted and
radiated EMI noises, are examined using the prototype EV
shown in Fig. 1 [7]. The structure of the prototype is character-
ized by having two kinds of motors (i.e., SM and IM) for the
front and rear wheel sides, respectively. Moreover, a dc power
supply, which is comprised of a 12-piece serial power battery,
is arranged symmetrically on the front and rear wheel sides.
These components are wired as shown in Fig. 2. The merits of
this EV have been given in [7]. Here, the focus is on the rear
wheel drive system for driving IM with the inverter, and sources
of EMI noises appearing in the drive system, as well as EMI
noise routes propagated by them, are investigated by analyzing
transient voltage and current appearing at the time of switching
operations using the FFT method. The EV measurements are
done while the EV was raised on a jack.
0018-9375/$20.00 2005 IEEE
Fig. 1. Layout of motor drive systems in prototype EV used for evaluating
EMI noises.
Fig. 2. Batteries supplying electric power to the front and rear wheel drive
B. EMI Noise Sources Produced by Switching Operations
of Inverters
EMI noises are produced by switching operations performed
in the circuit between the inverter and batteries. Then, high-
frequency components contained in battery voltage and current
are investigated using the FFT analysis. Comparing the FFT
result of the battery voltage [Fig. 3(a) and (b)] with that of the
battery current [Fig. 3(c) and (d)] shows that resonance spectra
having two harmonic components with frequencies of about 1.8
and 3.6 MHz appear for both the battery voltage and the cur-
rent. The cause of these resonance frequencies is investigated
based on the transient waveforms of the phase voltage and cur-
rent owing to the motor. Fig. 4 shows that only the resonance
frequency of 3.6 MHz appears in the FFT spectrum of the phase
voltage, and this component inuences the current owing into
the motor [Fig. 4(c) and (d)]. That is, the component with the
resonance frequency of 3.6 MHz is produced by switching oper-
ations of the power devices forming each phase of the inverter,
and the component becomes differential mode noises transmit-
ted between the batteries and the motor. Considering that the
resonance component with the frequency of 1.8 MHz appears
only in the battery current, this component is differential mode
noises appearing in the short circuit made fromthe power device
forming the arm of each phase, stray capacitor, wiring induc-
tance, and batteries [8]. If the analyzed results obtained on the
basis of the previous experiments are summarized, the circuit
loop shown in Fig. 5, which transmits two kinds of differen-
Fig. 3. Transient characteristics of the battery voltage and current, and the
frequency spectra obtained from FFT analyzed results of them. (a) Transient
waveform of battery voltage. (b) FFT analysis of (a). (c) Transient waveform of
battery current. (d) FFT analysis of (c).
Fig. 4. Conducted EMI noises transmitted to motor side by EMI noise sources
produced from uctuations of line voltage. (a) Waveform of transient phase
voltage. (b) FFT analysis of (a). (c) Transient waveform of motor current. (d)
FFT analysis of (c).
tial mode noises, will be formed through switching operations.
Although the produced differential mode noises are transmitted
on the current paths shown in Fig. 5, they may induce common
mode currents owing to the car body frame via stray capacitor
distributed power transmission lines and the car body frame.
Then, common mode currents leaking into the car body frame
must be investigated.
C. Common Mode Currents Induced by Differential Mode
Noises Produced by Switching Operations
Fig. 6 shows common mode currents leaking from the
car body frame to the ground when the car body frame was
Fig. 5. Transmission routes of EMI noises assumed fromFFT analyzed results
of Figs. 3 and 4.
Fig. 6. Inuence of EMI noise sources appearing in Figs. 3 and 4 on the current
leaking from the car body frame to the ground. (a) Correlation of the timing
for the line voltage and current leaking from the car body frame to the ground.
(b) FFT analysis of the leakage current shown in (a).
connected to the ground. Looking into the timing relationship
between the line voltage and common mode currents, it is
conrmed from Fig. 6(a) that the common mode currents begin
to ow synchronized with the line voltage change. Moreover,
from FFT analysis of the measured common mode currents
shown in Fig. 6(a), the spectra of common mode currents show
the series resonance phenomenon at the same frequencies as
those of the differential noises that appeared on the transmis-
sion routes shown in Fig. 5. This means that transient voltage
produced by switching operations of the inverter, which causes
the differential mode noises, becomes an EMI noise source that
forces common mode currents to the ground. Similarly, while
these differential mode noises are owing into the transmission
routes shown in Fig. 5, another transmission routes with
common mode currents owing in them are formed as shown
by Fig. 7. The transmission routes of EMI noises formed in
EV drive systems, especially those of common mode currents,
become very long. If the length of transmission routes of
common mode currents increase, radiated EMI noises may be
diffused over the whole EV. Thus, while EMI noise components
with the series resonance frequencies of 1.8 and 3.6 MHz
are transmitted on the previous routes, how these EMI noises
inuence generation of EMI noises radiated in the EV is
Fig. 7. EMI noise transmission routes appearing in EV drive systems.
Fig. 8. Near magnetic elds in the interior and on the car body of the EV that
are generated by EMI noise sources in the EV drive systems. (a) Near magnetic
elds in the interior of the EV. (b) Measurement points in the interior of the EV.
(c) Near magnetic elds on car body. (d) Measurement points on the car body.
D. Radiated EMI Noises Generated While Differential Mode
Noises Are Transmitted on Their Transmission Routes
The generated common mode currents are usually led to the
ground through a wiring cable from the bottom of the car body.
In this case, it is supposed that radiated EMI noises produced
by common mode currents leaked to the ground may appear
on the car body. Thus, near magnetic elds produced when
common mode currents are forced to leak to the ground via
the wiring cable are investigated. Fig. 8(a) shows spectra of
near magnetic elds appearing at measurement points shown
in Fig. 8(b). The near magnetic elds produced at points A
and C, where the inverter is located, are the largest. The near
magnetic eld appearing at point D, where the dc/dc converter
is located, is the next largest; this is because the power source of
the dc/dc converter is supplied from batteries. This means that
the noise component with the resonance frequency of 1.8 MHz
is transmitted to the dc/dc converter side from the batteries.
In contrast, Fig. 8(c) and (d) shows that near magnetic elds
emitted from EMI noise sources A and C spread uniformly to
B because EMI noises with high frequencies are able to spread
uniformly and to ow on a metal plate surface due to the skin
effect. Accordingly, once EMI noises are generated in the motor
drive system, they may spread easily throughout the whole EV
system. As described in Section V, when EMI noises have spread
throughout a whole car body and cars are running side by side
or near each other, EMI may be caused between the EVs. Thus,
differential mode noises produced due to switching operations
and the common mode currents induced by them should be
suppressed before spreading through the whole EV.
A. Method to Control Common Mode Currents Leaking
to the Car Body
Because the motor frame is charged by currents leaking
through the insulator fromthe primary winding, the motor frame
voltage may increase to a dangerous value for passengers. Thus,
the motor frame should be connected to the ground. As a result,
common mode currents ow to the ground, inducing radiated
EMI noises. So, a controlling method for the common mode cur-
rents is proposed in this section that prevents series resonance
phenomenon fromoccurring in the common mode current paths
by connecting the motor frame and ground via a suitable damp-
ing impedance. Here, the connection of wiring cables to the
ground must be exible to allow movement. In this case, the
suitable impedance is determined through the procedure shown
in Fig. 9. First, after measuring common mode currents, series
resonance frequencies are searched for through FFT analyses
of the measured waveforms. The high-frequency components
corresponding to the obtained resonance frequencies are sepa-
rated from the measured common mode currents using the FFT
band-pass lter technique. As shown in Fig. 10(a), [9], [10], the
transient response analyses are performed for every waveform
of the separated high-frequency components using (1)



L =

+ (R/2L)
. (2)
Here, the common mode voltage E is 288/3 V, and the
value (L/C)
can be obtained from the peak initial value
of (1) based on the separated waveform. Then, the
value R/2Lcan be estimated fromthe time constant of the sepa-
rated transient waveform. As a result, inductance Lcan easily be
obtained from (2) using these values and the detected resonance
frequency f
. After obtaining the inductance L, the resistance
R and the capacitance C can be uniquely determined based
on (L/C)
and R/2L. This procedure is applied to all sepa-
rated waveforms, which occurred due to series resonance phe-
nomenon, and circuit parameters (R, L, C) for each resonance
frequency are obtained. An equivalent circuit for common mode
Fig. 9. Procedure to form an equivalent circuit corresponding to the targeted
common mode currents and to obtain the suitable damping impedance.
currents is obtained by connecting the series resonance circuit
obtained for each resonance frequency, as shown in Fig. 10(b).
Next, the damping impedance to prevent the series reso-
nance phenomenon occurrence in common mode current paths
is studied through simulations using the obtained equivalent
circuit for the common mode currents. A suitable impedance
with the damping effectiveness is searched for based on sim-
ulation results in Fig. 11(a). In this paper, the impedance at
which the reducing rate of the common mode current becomes
the largest for the common mode current in Fig. 11(a) is se-
lected as the suitable damping one. As shown in Fig. 11(a),
this impedance is obtained from the intersection of the tangen-
tial line (dotted line), where the changing rate of the current
to the impedance becomes the largest, and of the horizontal
(impedance) axis. It is veried through experiments whether
this approach is reasonable. Fig. 11(b) shows that almost the
same impedance is obtained through simulations as acquired
in experiments. Moreover, the selected impedance must be in-
vestigated from the standpoint of safety. The frame voltage
plot of Fig. 11(b) shows that the impedance obtained through
the previous procedure is properly selected in consideration of
the international stand [11] regarding the safety for passen-
gers. The effectiveness that controls the common mode current
is almost completely lost at impedances larger than the value
determined by the previous procedure, and the frame voltage
also increases. The design of the damping impedance should
not be based on this value because the grounding effectiveness
Fig. 10. An example to estimate the damping impedance suitable for pre-
venting common mode currents from spreading on the whole vehicle via the
installed drive system. (a) Circuit parameters for every resonance frequency are
estimated using the transient pulse response analyzing technique. (b) Damping
impedance estimated through the procedure shown in Fig. 9.
Fig. 11. Verication of the method to determine suitable damping impedance
in consideration of the motor frame voltage from the standpoint of safety.
(a) Relationships between the common mode current and damping impedance
(simulations). (b) Relationship for the damping impedance, common mode
current, and motor frame voltage (experiments).
Fig. 12. Experimental verication of effects to suppress common mode cur-
rents by the proposed method. (a) Without counter measure. (b) With counter-
measure. (c) Reducing effects of near magnetic elds.
B. Experimental Verication of the Proposed Controlling
Method for Common Mode Currents
Here, suppression effects of the common mode current are
veried when the impedance of 100 designed through calcu-
lations of Fig. 11(a) is applied to the prototype EV. Comparison
between Fig. 12(a) and (b) shows that the common mode cur-
rents are effectively attenuated. Although two components with
resonance frequencies of 1.8 MHz and 3.6 MHz are contained
in the common mode currents, it is conrmed from the near
magnetic eld characteristics of Fig. 12(c) that the largest com-
ponent of 1.8 MHz is attenuated no less than 15 dB. Accordingly,
it is concluded that the damping impedance of 100 obtained
from Fig. 11 effectively controls not only the common mode
currents, but also the near magnetic elds induced by them.
A. Control Method for Radiations Due to Differential
Mode Noises
There are two kinds of EMI noise transmission routes regard-
ing common mode currents and differential mode noises in EV
drive systems, as claried in Section II. Thus, only controlling
radiated EMI noises due to common mode currents cannot
be said to completely suppress EMI noises emitted from EV
drive systems (i.e., radiated EMI noises produced by differential
mode noises should also be controlled). Because differential
mode noises are produced due to switching operations per-
formed in the inverter, radiated EMI noises induced by them
may spread out the whole inverter. Thus, to cope with these ra-
diated EMI noises, the packaging method for inverters installed
in EVs should be reconsidered. Here, a control method using a
Fig. 13. Comparison between the conventional and proposed methods of the
calculated near magnetic elds at a point 3 cm above power transmission lines
(simulated frequency: 3.6 MHz). (a) Conventional method: (a1) 3-D simulation
model of metal molded-type power converter; (a2) surface current distributions;
(a3) near magnetic elds. (b) Proposed method: (b1) 3-D simulation model of
power converter using multilayer printed power circuit technique; (b2) surface
current distributions; (b3) near magnetic elds.
multilayer printed power circuit technique [12] is proposed that
can control EMI noises with frequencies higher than 1 MHz. The
effectiveness of this control method is veried through simula-
tions, which are performed using Micro-Strips V6.0 (Flomerics
Ltd.) by constructing three-dimensional (3-D) models shown
in Fig. 13(a1) and (b1) based on TLM (the transmission-line
modeling method) [13]. Their structure is the same as that of an
actual power converter with the four-layer structure. In simula-
tions, only the rst layer is excluded to shorten PCrunning time.
This signal (low-voltage) layer includes gate circuits, power
supplies, voltage, and current-sensing circuits. The second and
third layers are composed of two kinds of power transmission
lines that have a mutually symmetric structure. The fourth layer
is the ground plane that has the function to absorb the common
mode currents owing due to the structural asymmetry between
the second and third layers, which is produced by forming the
structure where electronic parts can be mounted on the printed-
circuit board (PCB). The second and third layers are designed
to attenuate the produced EMI noises and cancel near magnetic
elds appearing around power transmission lines using the
design rules proposed in [12]. Fig. 13(a2) and (b2) shows that
the surface currents are effectively suppressed when using the
multilayer PCB technique in comparison with the conventional
metal molded-type inverter. Then, Fig. 13(a3) and 13(b3)
Fig. 14. Effects of the proposed method to suppress surface currents and near
magnetic elds when the power converter is installed on the rear backseat side
of the EV. (a) 3-D model for simulating EMI noise phenomenon appearing in
the electric vehicle that which has the power converter mounted on the backseat
side. (b) Conventional method: (b1) surface current distributions; (b2) near
magnetic elds appearing above the ceiling (c) Proposed method: (c1) surface
current distributions; (c2) near magnetic elds appearing above the ceiling.
indicates that radiated EMI noises induced by surface currents
can be reduced as much as 30 dB in comparison with the
conventional packaging method. Moreover, this effectiveness is
veried experimentally. In experiments, near magnetic elds at
3 cm above power transmission lines are measured by scanning
with the magnetic led probe (MP-L, NEC Glass Components
Ltd.); this probe can measure magnetic elds between 1 MHz
and 1 GHz, even at 1 mm. The measured data are automatically
sent to a PC, and FFT analyses are performed. Experiments
give an actual reduction of around 20 dB for the proposed
B. Verication of the Proposed Method by Simulations
Here, suppressing effects of radiated EMI noises are veried
through simulations when the previous packaging method is ap-
plied to the inverter installed in EVs. The inverter models used
in simulations are the same 3-D PCB models as Fig. 13(a1)
and (b1). As shown in Fig. 14(a), these models are embedded
in the backseat of the vehicle model with the same structure
as the prototype EV that is made by converting a PajeroMimi
(Mitsubishi Motors). The inverter frame is connected to the ve-
hicle frame so the potential of the vehicle body frame agrees
with that of the inverter frame. The analysis system without
the damping impedance is insulated with respect to the ground,
and the analyzing frequency of 3.6 MHz is used in simula-
tions. Simulations results are used to verify the effectiveness
of the proposed method in comparison with the conventional
Fig. 15. EMI between EVs that occurs due to near magnetic elds emitted
from the installed inverters. (a) EMI phenomenon occurring between two EVs
with the conventional power converters. (b) EMI occurring at a point 15 cm
above the roof of the EVs shown in Fig. 15(a). (c) EMI phenomenon occurring
between two EVs with the proposed power converters. (d) EMI occurring at a
point 15 cm above the roof of the EVs shown in Fig. 15(c).
metal molded method shown in Fig. 13(a1). Fig. 14(b1) and
(c1) shows the surface current on the car body, which is in-
duced by differential mode noises with the resonance frequency
of 3.6 MHz. For the conventional method, the surface currents
induced by EMI noises generated from the inverter installed in
the rear seat spread over the front seat side, whereas for the
proposed method they are effectively reduced. It is conrmed
fromFig. 14(b2) and (c2) that these ndings are also reected in
the near magnetic elds formed by these currents. Comparing
simulated results between the proposed and the conventional
methods, it is conrmed that the attenuating rate is around
20 dB, which is almost the same attenuating rate as the re-
sult obtained in Section IV-A. Thus, because the same effect as
the attenuating effect of radiated EMI noises in the inverter is
also acquired within EVs, in order to effectively prevent EMI
noises from being emitted from EVs, it is necessary to take suf-
cient measures against EMI noises radiated from the installed
When two or more vehicles are running side by side, EMI
noises are radiated. Because these situations may occur more
frequently when EVs are widely used, the EMI noises that occur
without any countermeasures against spread of radiated EMI
noises are claried through simulations. When only one EV
runs independently, near magnetic elds appearing around the
car body spread all over the vehicle, as shown in Fig. 14(b1).
However, completely different near magnetic elds are
formed around EVs when vehicles run side by side while radi-
ating noises. Fig. 15(a) and (b) show that near magnetic elds
that appear on the inner side between two EVs are strengthened
in comparison with magnetic elds appearing outside them.
This phenomenon has already been veried using the simpli-
ed model of two metal plates moving while radiating noises
in [14]. Because EMI phenomenon appears clearly for vehicles
without countermeasures, a communication failure may occur.
Therefore, as shown in Fig. 15(c) and (d), radiated EMI noise
countermeasures should also be taken from the standpoint of
securing safety while EVs are running. EMI noise countermea-
sures proposed here will be indispensable to future EVs.
Control methods for two kinds of EMI noises produced in
motor drive systems of EVs were studied in this paper. One
was a method to control common mode currents, and the other
was a method to control the radiated EMI noises generated by
differential mode noises. The common mode currents could be
controlled so as to prevent series resonance phenomenon ap-
pearing in the transmission routes, and the radiated EMI noises
could be controlled using the multilayer PCB technique. Re-
duction effects of the proposed methods were veried through
simulations and experiments.
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Nobuyoshi Mutoh (M89SM92) was born in
Chiba Prefecture, Japan, in 1948. In March 1975, he
completed the rst half of his Doctors course at the
Science and Engineering Research Division, Gradu-
ate School of Waseda University, Waseda, Japan. He
received the D. Eng. degree from Waseda University.
He joined Hitachi Research Laboratory of Hitachi,
Ltd., in April 1975. From February 1995 to February
1998, he was a Senior Engineer in the Elevator De-
velopment Center, Mito Works. From February 1998
to March 2000, he was a Senior Researcher in the
Second Department of Power Electronics Research, Hitachi Research Labora-
tory. He became a Professor in the Department of Electronic Systems Engineer-
ing, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, in April 2000.
He is currently also a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, Graduate
School of Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo. His research elds are ECO
vehicle control systems; renewable energy and distribution generation systems
such as PV, wind power and fuel cell control systems; and EMC control tech-
niques related to power electronics.
Dr. Mutoh is a Registered Professional Engineer and an Associate Editor
Technology Award in 1989, the Kanto District Invention Award in 1994, and
other famous industrial awards in Japan.
Mikiharu Nakanishi graduated from the Depart-
ment of Electronic Systems Engineering and received
the M.S. degree from the Department of Intelligent
Systems, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technol-
ogy, Tokyo, Japan, in 2004 and 2004, respectively.
He is currently pursuing the M.S. degree in systems
engineering science at the Tokyo Metropolitan Insti-
tute of Technology. His area of development is EMC
phenomena regarding vehicle systems.
Masaki Kanesaki graduated from the Department
of Electronic Systems Engineering, and received the
M.S. degree from the Department of Intelligent Sys-
tems, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology,
Tokyo, Japan, in 2004.
He currently works for The Tokyo Electric Power
Company, Inc. His area of research is power systems.
Joji Nakashima graduated from the Department of
Electronic Systems Engineering, and received the
M.S. degree the Department of Intelligent Systems,
Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo,
Japan, in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
He currently works for Honda, Japan. His area of
research is vehicle control systems.