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

The three companies will combine their know-how to develop an electric powertrain system that is “unparalleled worldwide, offering more power on less energy, without the use of rare earths” – that’s some goal indeed.

Renault will develop and produce the Electrically Excited Synchronous Motor (EESM) rotor technology, as well as the overall motor architecture.

Valeo and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive will develop and produce the stator – the stationary part of the system that provides a magnetic field. Valeo claims that it will produce more power without requiring extra electricity.

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

“We are delighted to be partnering with Valeo, whose know-how is recognised the world over,” says Luca de Meo, Renault Group’s Chief Executive Officer.

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

Christophe Périllat, CEO of Valeo, concurs:

“This strategic partnership will result in a major step forward for electric mobility. Alongside Renault Group, we are creating a new-generation automotive electric motor that eliminates the use of rare earths. This new motor will meet the most stringent environmental requirements and the highest performance standards.”

The use of rare earth materials in electric motors has rapidly become a cause for concern amongst automakers. Electric motors rely on magnet metals to help generate power and, as EVs have boomed in sales, magnet metals such as neodymium have more than doubled in price in recent years. 

The fact that China controls around 90% of the world’s neodymium is unlikely to help matters, either. This new project from Renault and Valeo, however,  could help bring EV prices down in years to come.

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