With the demand for electric vehicles set to increase next year, and the legislative mandate to stop ICE sales growing nearer, we think it’s inevitable that 2023 will see sustainable electrification become a major topic of discussion.
Though it’s widely accepted and acknowledged that battery manufacturing can be an environmentally damaging practice, the manufacturing of other EV powertrain componentry can be similarly impactful.
Permanent magnet motors, the mainstay of electric vehicles to date, utilise magnets containing rare-earth metals. These are in finite supply and are harmful to extract. It has been reported that, for every tonne of rare earth metals mined, 1.4 tonnes of radioactive waste can be produced.
Of course, we’re no strangers to the topic. Right from the get-go, we have said that electrification has to offer a solution – not create a problem. Our visit to COP26 in November 2021 was testament to this. Alongside David Thackray from Tevva and Professor Allan Walton of Hypromag, our team highlighted the environmental costs associated with the manufacturing and recycling of a legacy electric vehicle.
Part of the reason we feel that 2023 will mark a turning point in EV sustainability is because consumer awareness of these environmental issues is growing. We’re starting to see a noticeable uptick in the number of OEMs looking to specify equipment that mitigates the use of rare-earth metals.
Our sustainable semi-sinusoidal motor solution differs from other magnet-free motor technology. Other magnet-free motor technologies haven’t been successful due to poor efficiency and performance, with them often having to rely on increased use of other unsustainable materials. Conversely, AEM motors can meet, if not exceed, the performance and efficiency of PM motors whilst still reducing our environmental footprint.
The main reason permanent magnet motors have been long favoured is due to their efficiency compared to an induction set-up. We’ve been able to engineer our machines to be even more efficient than a permanent magnet motor, without needing the damaging materials. What’s more, it’s safer to operate and easier to recycle.
Today, it’s widely appreciated that there is a need for electrification. But it’s our collective duty and responsibility to do so sustainably.