Renault and Valeo will build an electric motor without rare earths

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Renault, Valeo and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive are seeking to develop a new electric motor, free of earth metals.

The three companies will combine their know-how to develop an electric propulsion system “unprecedented in the world, offering more power with less energy, without the use of rare earths”, it is indeed an objective.

Renault will develop and produce the electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) rotor technology, as well as the overall engine architecture.

Valeo and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive will develop and produce the stator, the fixed part of the system that provides a magnetic field. Valeo claims that it will produce more electricity without requiring additional electricity.

This collaboration will make the companies the first to mass-produce a 200 kW electric motor without using rare earths. Production is expected to start at Renault Cléon in Normandy, northern France, in 2027.

“We are delighted to partner with Valeo, whose know-how is recognized around the world,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of the Renault group.

“Together, we will design and develop a new generation of high-tech electric motors, produced in our Cléon plant. This partnership is a new demonstration of our ability to be at the forefront of the current electric revolution in the automotive industry and to anchor the new automotive value chain in France.

Christophe Périllat, CEO of Valeo, confirms:

“This strategic partnership will result in a major breakthrough for electric mobility. Alongside Groupe Renault, we are creating a new-generation automotive electric motor that eliminates the use of rare earths. This new engine will meet the strictest environmental requirements and the highest performance standards.

The use of rare earths in electric motors has quickly become a source of concern for car manufacturers. Electric motors depend on magnetic metals to help generate power, and as sales of electric vehicles have exploded, magnetic metals such as neodymium have more than doubled in price in recent years.

The fact that China controls about 90% of the world’s neodymium shouldn’t help either. This new project by Renault and Valeo could, however, help bring down the prices of electric vehicles in the years to come.

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