UK company creates ‘world’s most sustainable electric vehicle motors’

Posted: April 2, 2021 by oldbrew in innovation, Travel

Typical electric car set-up

Reducing both costs and mining waste sounds good, if it can be developed to industrial scale.
– – –
A UK-based company has unveiled its what it believes to be the world’s most sustainable motor for electric vehicles, says ElectricHybridVehicleTechnology.

Its new motors are completely free of rare earth magnets, yet are said to be able to offer all of the performance and efficiency benefits and more of a conventional permanent magnet motor, without their considerable environmental drawbacks.

Unlike today’s standard EV motors, its HDSRM and SSRD motors do not feature rare earth magnets so do not require the harmful mining of materials such as neodymium and dysprosium.

According to independent research, every tonne of rare earth material mined produces up to 1.4 tonnes of radioactive waste, 200m3 of acid-containing sewage water, 60,000m3 waste gas containing hydrochloric acid and 27.6 tonnes of CO2.

Based on a global car production of 97 million vehicles, AEM’s technology could save the production of 133 million tonnes CO2 per year as well as 300,000 tonnes of radioactive waste.

Rare earths also appear at the top of most nation’s lists of critical materials, those where there is long term concern for security of supply.

As a result of this uncertainty, the price of neodymium, which is commonly used in permanent magnet electric motors, has increased by more than 240% between March 2020 and March 2021, meaning that they are financially unsustainable as well as environmentally problematic.

As well as rare earth metals, traditional permanent magnet motors also use copper windings. At end of life, the copper must be removed from the motor before recycling, making the process difficult and expensive.

AEM claims its technologies can be produced using only steel and aluminium, meaning that it can be recycled quickly, cost-effectively and completely.

HDSRM is a next-generation Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM) that, uniquely for this type of motor, operates with the standard power electronics used by most EV drivetrains. Its design and patented technologies claim that, unlike previous SRMs, HDSRM can operate quietly and with minimal torque ripple.

Full article here.

Press release: British Firm Cracks Electric Car Motor Conundrum

  1. oldbrew says:

    AEM is in talks with global car manufacturers about how its technology can be adopted, and the company is working with marques including Bentley and Tevva.

    Bentley aims to build recyclable electric motors for EVs
    February 18, 2021

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    How many of those who push for the electrification of road transport understand those pollution figures?

  3. Dave Ward says:

    Great! Now just make the batteries and inverters “Sustainable” and you’ll be laughing…

    Oh, I forgot, where’s all the “Sustainable” electricity going to come from???

  4. Gamecock says:

    ‘most sustainable’

    Like “most dead” and “most pregnant.”

  5. JB says:

    “operates with the standard power electronics used by most EV drivetrains”

    I don’t see how that is possible with this kind of motor. The controller for a SRM is much more complicated for torque/speed/braking/free wheeling than any other type. Position sensing of the rotor is necessary with this design. Some really fancy feedback loop/software is needed to perform regenerative braking. Torque cogging is always present which needs real-time software for minimization, and the SRM is not known for the kinds of speed/torque ranges attainable with PM motors. The difference may have to be made up in transmission complexity, which adds weight and complexity cost over simple gearboxing.

    Further, it is highly unlikely aluminum wire is being used in the stator coils, the I^2R losses are much greater than with copper and severely limits the temperature excursions/cycling for long term reliability. Water cooling also adds to the overall maintenance costs. That waste heat which is operation condition dependent is not going to offer much in the way of cabin heating.

    The performance hike may make it worth pursuing, but like anything else, SRMs push constraints into other areas of the system design, increasing those costs.

  6. oldmanK says:

    JB says: April 2, 2021 at 1:44 pm The article, though interesting, was posted on April 1st. ???

    [reply] the press release was on March 28th 🙂

  7. Curious George says:

    Most sustainable motors. Reminds me of an old joke: Buy Soviet wristwatch “Pobeda”, the fastest ones available.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Basic factsheets here…
    – – –
    Electric car targets at risk as UK falls behind in global race for key battery metals, experts warn
    UK lacks cohesive strategy and faces being at the ‘back of the list’ as US and Japan forge ahead with trade deals
    1 April 2021

    The UK faces being muscled out of a competitive market dominated by China, which controls 80 per cent of the supply of rare-earth minerals such as neodymium and dysprosium, which are used to make electric motors, and has previously threatened to withhold them in trade rows with the US.

  9. ivan says:

    As I see it we have two things here:
    1) a very large multi phase stepper motor, but no idea about the necessary electronics package.
    2) someone in the company was thinking and saw a way of cashing in on the ‘green’ market (to which I say good for them).

    The unfortunate part is the fact that no clue is given about the driving and control electronics, how reliable is it, what is its mtbf. etc. In fact their basic fact-sheets are NOT as useful as a chocolate tea pot.

  10. Gamecock says:

    “Electric car targets at risk as UK falls behind in global race for key battery metals, experts warn
    UK lacks cohesive strategy and faces being at the ‘back of the list’ as US and Japan forge ahead with trade deals. The UK faces being muscled out of a competitive market dominated by China”

    If you are lucky.

    The best possible solution to the climate emergency. Let the Yanks play the stupid climate games. You can return to normal.

  11. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    They’ve replaced the permanent magnets with coils… nothing new to see here. Flux switching motors aren’t new, either. How their ‘solution’ could possibly be more efficient than a PM motor is beyond me, as those coils require electricity to generate a magnetic field comparable to what the permanent magnets generate for free.

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