Building EV Motors without Rare-Earth Magnets

by Gyanvitaranam

Powerful rare-earth based magnets are employed in most electric vehicle (EV) motors and other high efficiency motor applications. What dothese magnets do?

They enable the motors to transform electricity into motion, thus powering the EV. But did you know that these high-performance permanent magnets in EVs contain rare-earth metals like neodymium (NdFeB) or a combination of samarium-cobalt (SmCo)?

These rare earth metals are expensive to mine, extract and manufacture. Also, the process of mining and extracting them causes serious health and environmental damage.

For every ton of rare earth produced, the mining process yields 13kg of dust, 9,600-12,000 cubic metres of waste gas, 75 cubic metres of wastewater, and one ton of radioactive residue.

Finally, China has a 90 per cent control over the supply chain of rare-earth magnets, making India’s transition to electric mobility laden with critical and strategic dependencies.


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