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IDTechEx Discusses 4 Ways to Eliminate Rare Earths in EV Motors and One You Haven’t Heard

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BOSTON, Aug. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The use of rare earths in various modern technology has drawn attention over the years. But with the rising demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the issue has been brought to the fore. 82% of the electric car market in 2022 was using electric motors based on rare earth permanent magnets. China largely controls the supply of rare earths, and this has led to significant price volatility in previous years, with a large spike in 2011/2012 and a big rise between 2021-2022. Crucially, in comparison to some other technologies, several methods can be used to eliminate the use of rare earths in electric motors, which will be outlined in this article along with the pros, cons, and adoption.

 

 

This article is based on IDTechEx’s latest “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles 2024-2034” report that analyses different motor technologies for performance, materials, market adoption, and future potential.

To briefly describe the construction of an electric motor, a stationary part (stator) has coils of metal (typically copper) fed by an electric current to generate a magnetic field. This field will then turn the rotating part of the motor (rotor). In a rare earth permanent magnet (PM) motor, the magnets are located on the rotor.

1.  The Induction Motor

In an induction motor (or asynchronous motor), the rotating magnet field produced by the stator induces currents on the rotor, which in turn produces a magnetic field that is attracted/repelled from the radial field of the stator windings. The induction motor uses copper or aluminum bars or windings on the rotor. These motors typically present good peak power and torque density over short periods but can prove challenging to thermally manage and typically have lower efficiency than PM options.

Induction motors have been common in the EV market, being the primary choice of Tesla until the release of the Model 3 (which adopted a PM design). In the car market, some proponents remain, such as Audi and Mercedes, but induction motors are now largely used as a secondary motor, used for acceleration boosts as they do not create drag when not in use, eliminating the need for a decoupler.

2.  The Wound Rotor Motor

Also known as an externally excited synchronous motor (EESM), the wound rotor synchronous motor (WRSM) replaces the magnets on the rotor with coil windings that can be fed with a DC current to generate a magnetic field. This has the advantage of being able to control both the stator and rotor field. The downsides are the additional manufacturing steps required to add windings to the rotor and brushes are needed to transmit power to the rotor. These motors have historically also had poorer power and torque density, but modern versions are comparable with PM motors.

Renault was an early proponent of this technology in the Zoe, but now BMW and Nissan have adopted this design, and tier 1 MAHLE has presented a version with wireless power transfer to the rotor, eliminating the brushes.

3.  The Switched Reluctance Motor

Switched reluctance motors (SRMs) are potentially the most simple to construct, with the rotor largely being constructed of steel. The steel of the rotor has low reluctance compared to the air around it, so magnetic flux preferentially travels through the steel while attempting to shorten its flux path, rotating the rotor. Despite their simplicity and reliability, SRMs have typically been plagued with poorer power and torque density with other issues, including torque ripple and acoustic noise.

While SRMs have largely been confined to more industrial or heavy-duty applications, significant efforts are going into their development for EVs. Companies like Turntide Technologies have added more rotor and stator poles and come up with more sophisticated control systems to overcome traditional issues. UK-based Advanced Electric Machines have developed a new type of motor with a segmented rotor that remains simple in construction but is said to eliminate the acoustic noise and torque ripple while improving power and torque density; this design is the center of a project alongside Bentley.

4.  Alternative Magnetic Materials

While many OEMs have steadily reduced the rare earth content of their motors, Tesla gained much interest by saying that its next-generation drive system will be a PM motor without rare earths. There are several ongoing projects to develop rare earth free magnets that can compete on magnetic performance; these are at varying levels of commercialization.

The problem with alternative magnetic materials is that their magnetic performance is generally much worse. For example, some manufacturers that make rare earth and ferrite magnet motors show a reduction in power by 50-70% for ferrite version of the same size motor, meaning that to match performance, much more magnetic material and/or a much larger motor is required.

Proterial has developed magnets with magnetic properties that it states “deliver the world’s highest levels among ferrite magnets”. The motor design only requires 20% more magnetic material to keep the motor power density the same. Niron Magnetics are developing iron nitride magnets, and its next-generation versions are planned to compete with neodymium performance. PASSENGER is a European project developing strontium ferrite and manganese aluminum carbon alloys. While efforts are underway, materials with a truly comparable performance are still some ways into the future; however, with other changes to the motor design, they might not need to.

5.  A High Speed Ferrite Motor with Further Optimizations

While the adoption of ferrite magnets would significantly reduce motor performance, optimizing many other motor features could minimize this impact. Australian technology company Ultimate Transmissions has submitted a patent for a ferrite motor design that it believes could be one route Tesla could take to eliminate rare earths in a PM motor.

The design uses much larger ferrite magnets and higher speeds (20,000rpm) to achieve comparable power to a similarly sized rare earth PM motor. One challenge comes from containing the magnets effectively in the rotor; a potential solution would be using a carbon fiber wrap on the rotor (a technology Tesla has already demonstrated in its Plaid vehicles). Another challenge is that the ferrite magnets would need to be heated for optimal operation, the opposite issue faced by neodymium magnets, but not unachievable.

It should be noted that this design is still in the simulation phase, and Tesla could well be taking a different approach, such as its own alternative magnetic materials. But in simulations, this approach has shown similar power, reduced costs, and reduced weight at the expense of slightly reduced torque and a longer stack.

IDTechEx predicts a significant rise in rare earth free motor technologies. Source: IDTechEx

Conclusions for the Future

There is an increasing focus, especially outside of China, on reducing the rare earth content of electric motors. There are several strategies, each with its own trade-offs and opportunities for motor manufacturers and material suppliers. IDTechEx is predicting that rare earth PM motors will remain the dominant technology, largely thanks to China’s dominance in the EV market and other mines starting to come online worldwide. However, it anticipates that rare earth free options, including those mentioned above, will account for nearly 30% of the market in 2034.

IDTechEx’s latest iteration of “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles 2024-2034” takes a deep dive into motor technology, market adoption, material utilization, and market forecasts. It draws from a large database of vehicles and motors across vehicle segments, including cars, buses, trucks, vans, 2-wheelers, 3-wheeler, microcars, and aircraft.

To find out more about this report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/motors.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

Images download:

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Media Contact:

Lucy Rogers
Sales and Marketing Administrator
[email protected]
+44(0)1223 812300

Social Media Links:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/IDTechEx
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/IDTechEx 

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Blockchain Press Releases

Flash News: OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

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SINGAPORE, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — OKX, a leading Web3 technology company, has issued updates for March 2, 2024.

OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

OKX today announced the launch of its ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event,’ giving users who access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC) the opportunity to claim Babylon’s Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT. To qualify for a spot, users must access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC).

The event kicks off on February 28 and continues until March 6. Following the event, starting from March 7, participants who have been whitelisted will have the ability to mint their Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT using the OKX Wallet and their whitelisted address.

The process of participating in this event is straightforward and involves the following steps:

  1. Firstly, users will need to prepare by setting up their OKX and Keplr Wallets. These wallets will be crucial for interacting with the Babylon Testnet and the subsequent claiming of sBTC and BBN.
  2. Following the wallet setup, users can then claim the sBTC and BBN on Babylon’s Official Discord. These tokens will be needed for staking in the Babylon Testnet.
  3. Finally, users will need to access Babylon’s official website, where users can actively engage, stake their tokens and claim their whitelist spots.

Participation in the event offers a multitude of benefits. Users can engage actively with the Babylon Testnet, which in turn enhances their understanding of the Babylon protocol and its functionalities. Furthermore, participants contribute to the development and evolution of the Babylon protocol by being active users.

The ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event‘ is a result of OKX’s partnership with Babylon, a trustless Bitcoin staking protocol. The Bitcoin Pioneer Pass, Babylon’s first commemorative Non-Fungible Token (NFT), is a highlight of this event, representing a significant milestone for both OKX and Babylon.

For more information, please visit the OKX Support Center.

About OKX

A leading global technology company driving the future of Web3, OKX provides a comprehensive suite of products to meet the needs of beginners and experts alike, including:

  • OKX Wallet: The world’s most powerful, secure and versatile crypto wallet which gives users access to over 80 blockchains while allowing them to take custody of their own funds. The wallet includes MPC technology which allows users to easily recover access to their wallet independently, removing the need for traditional, ‘written down’ seed phrases. In addition, OKX Wallet’s account abstraction-powered Smart Account enables users to pay for transactions on multiple blockchains using USDC or USDT, and interact with multiple contracts via a single transaction.
  • DEX: A multi-chain, cross-chain decentralized exchange aggregator of 300+ other DEXs and approximately 15 bridges, with 200,000+ coins and more than 20 blockchains supported.
  • NFT Marketplace: A multi-chain, zero-fee NFT marketplace that gives users access to NFT listings across seven top-tier marketplaces including OpenSea, MagicEden, LooksRare and Blur.
  • Web3 DeFi: A powerful DeFi platform that supports earning and staking on about 70 protocols across more than 10 chains.

OKX partners with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, The Tribeca Festival, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

As a leader building innovative technology products, OKX believes in challenging the status quo. The company recently launched a global brand campaign entitled, The System Needs a Rewrite, which advocates for a new paradigm led by Web3 self-managed technology.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

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Blockchain Press Releases

Bitget Wallet now supports the Blast Mainnet, pioneering full ecosystem support as a Web3 wallet

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VICTORIA, Seychelles, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The globally leading Web3 trading wallet Bitget Wallet has now integrated support for the Blast Mainnet, making it the first all-in-one Web3 wallet for the Blast ecosystem. Users can effortlessly add and switch mainnets within the wallet with just one click, without the need for manual configuration. This integration enables users to manage, transfer, swap, and interact on one of the largest L2 launches in 2024.

Bitget Wallet has aggregated liquidity from mainstream DEXs within the Blast ecosystem, such as BlasterSwap and MonoSwap, into its Swap feature. This allows for mainnet token Swap transactions, providing users with convenient services for trading assets on the Blast blockchain.

During the Blast testnet phase, Bitget Wallet was among the first to offer support, unveiled a dedicated zone in its DApp page for Blast. This section featured over 40 elite projects from Blast’s Big Bang incentive program, enabling users to easily explore, interact, and potentially receive future airdrops in the Blast ecosystem. Following the launch of the Blast mainnet, Bitget Wallet plans to continue integrating popular projects from the Blast ecosystem, offering users extensive asset management features and a comprehensive ecosystem experience.

Bitget Wallet’s COO, Alvin Kan, highlights Blast as a Layer 2 solution with staking at its core, gaining market attention since launch. He says, “We’re committed to cutting-edge tech, lowering Web3 engagement barriers. Collaborating with quality mainnets like Blast, we aim to drive Web3 ecosystem growth.”

This week, Bitget Wallet engages with popular Blast ecosystem projects, exploring market traction, “Stake Layer 2” narrative, TVL enhancement strategies by staking and earning points, notable projects, and effective ways for users to participate in the Blast ecosystem upon mainnet launch. This provides users with valuable insights for meaningful ecosystem engagement.

Additionally, Bitget Wallet is organizing major events to support the Blast ecosystem, providing users with opportunities for discovering new assets.

About Bitget Wallet

Bitget Wallet stands as Asia’s largest and one of the world’s top non-custodial Web3 wallets, boasting over 19 million users globally. Featuring a comprehensive array of features including asset management, intelligent market data, swap functionality, launchpad, inscribing, DApp browsing, and more, Bitget Wallet promises users an unmatched multi-chain Web3 experience. Currently, Bitget Wallet supports over 100 blockchains, hundreds of EVM-compatible chains, and more than 250,000 cryptocurrencies. By aggregating liquidity across hundreds of leading DEXs and cross-chain bridges, Bitget Wallet is able to facilitate seamless and efficient trades on 40+ blockchains.

For more information, visit: Website | Twitter | Telegram | Discord

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Blockchain Press Releases

Cashback and Crypto: Bybit’s Monthly Bonanza

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DUBAI, UAE, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ —Bybit, one of the world’s top three crypto exchanges by volume, now unveils March’s Fiat Cashback Splash for both fresh and seasoned users who make fiat deposits.

This effort celebrates both new and familiar faces within the Bybit fold. The “Fiat Cashback Splash” is part of Bybit’s pledge to be the world’s Crypto Ark, leading the way to the new financial system, and offering straightforward chances for anyone to get involved. Indeed, any crypto users, including newcomers, will be able to walk the crypto path with Bybit as a reliable ally.

“We aim to always offer more to our users, and the Fiat Cashback Splash is our latest move to improve their journey,” said Ben Zhou, Bybit’s co-founder and CEO. “The Fiat Cashback Splash is our way of saying thank you to our community, both old and new, for their trust and support.”

This event spans the first week of every month and any one of Bybit’s 20 million users who bring fiat to the table will see rewards. Newcomers putting down $100 through fiat or a single click buy will get up to $10 back on fees. Those already with Bybit, depositing $500 or more, will see $5 returned.

For the heavy hitters depositing over $5,000, Bybit adds a $30 Buy Crypto Coupon into the mix, widening the horizon for investment.

#Bybit / #TheCryptoArk

About Bybit

Bybit is a top-three cryptocurrency exchange by volume with 20 million users established in 2018. It offers a professional platform where crypto investors and traders can find an ultra-fast matching engine, 24/7 customer service, and multilingual community support. Bybit is a proud partner of Formula One’s reigning Constructors’ and Drivers’ champions: the Oracle Red Bull Racing team.

For more details about Bybit, please visit Bybit Press.
For media inquiries, please contact: [email protected]
For more information, please visit: https://www.bybit.com
For updates, please follow: Bybit’s Communities and Social Media

Discord | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Reddit | Telegram | TikTok | X | Youtube

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