Motor to use no rare earths and be developed in cooperation with Valeo and Siemens-Valeo.
Car manufacturer Renault plans to develop and manufacture motors for electric vehicles in cooperation with automotive supplier Valeo and the Siemens-Valeo joint venture Valeo Siemens eAutomotive. The focus will be on producing the first motor that achieves 200 KW (272 hp) of power without the use of rare earths, the project partners said in a press release. The engine is an electrically excited synchronous motor that uses an electromagnet. Renault is thus taking a different path than industry leader Tesla, which since 2018 with its Model 3 (up to 377KW) has again increasingly relied on rare earth magnets for the traction motor.
However, the French group will not be able to manage entirely without strategic raw materials in the future, because lithium and cobalt are needed for the batteries, two resources whose extraction has been criticized due to environmental concerns. Added to this is the generation of sustainable energy for the charging current. Wind turbines mainly use permanent magnets made of rare earths. Their number is likely to increase significantly as many countries have set ambitious targets for climate neutrality, with electromobility occupying a key position.
Photo: iStock/Sven Loeffler