Colorado-based UQM Technologies (NYSE MKT: UQM) has earned a patent for a new EV motor design that uses non-rare earth magnets. Most current EVs use permanent magnet motors that include rare earth metals, which offer strong and constant magnetic fields. However, obtaining rare earths can be environmentally harmful, and some fear that supplies may run short as applications in electromobility and renewable energy grow.
The new design provides a similar level of performance to UQM’s current design, and once development is completed will allow UQM the flexibility to choose between the two systems, depending on future magnet costs.
“The patented technology that we’ve developed provides a viable option to existing rare-earth motor technology, limiting exposure for us and our customers to the price and political volatilities of rare earth magnets,” said UQM CEO Eric R. Ridenour. “We are now in the prototype stage and the first samples are meeting our objectives, providing us with the validation to move into the next phase of development.”
Implementation of this technology is funded by a $4-million DOE grant.
Source: UQM Technologies