Permanent magnet motor to contain less rare earths and be more recyclable.
British automotive supplier GKN Automotive is participating in a new European research project to develop sustainable, high-performance electric motors. These are expected to have 20 percent less power loss, 28 percent lower production costs and up to 66 percent less material usage compared to current models on the market. As part of a recycling strategy, the use of the rare earths neodymium and dysprosium is to be reduced by up to 80 percent, and more than 80 percent of all rare earths used are to be recycled. This is intended to conserve resources and increase the resilience of the European supply chain, GKN writes.
The project, called HEFT and led by the University of Mondragon in Spain, is co-funded by the European Commission, with operational support provided by GKN’s Zumaia plant in Spain. A total of eight research and industrial partners from Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom are involved.
Read more: German automotive supplier Mahle is also working on the further development of electric motors based on rare earth permanent magnets. The Japanese company Hitachi Metals, on the other hand, is developing an alternative with magnets made of ferrite, i.e. modified iron.