AC Propulsion E-Motors: Rare Earth Elements-free

ACP's induction motors power the BMW MINI E, the Peraves MonoTracer E, and the Tesla Roadster.

Published: 24-Jan-2011

LOS ANGELES - AC Propulsion, a global leader in electric drive development, design and manufacturing, today entered the international dialog about the use of rare earth metals in the development of Electric Vehicles (EVs). Media articles have recently surfaced about the use of these metals in electric-drive vehicles including hybrids and EVs. Toyota recently announced that it is actively developing an electric motor that doesn’t rely on rare earth metals. As a pioneer in the development of electric drive systems, AC Propulsion notes it has been making EV motors without using rare earth metals for nearly 20 years.

“AC Propulsion has been making AC induction motors, which do not use any rare earth metals, for almost two decades,” says Tom Gage, AC Propulsion CEO. “The AC Propulsion induction motor technology, first introduced in 1992, is developed specifically to power vehicles. The BMW MINI E, the Peraves MonoTracer E, and the Tesla Roadster all use this motor technology. These vehicles demonstrate without a doubt that induction motors offer compact, robust, efficient, and lightweight power for electric propulsion. Induction motors are built with iron, aluminum, and copper, so no rare earth metals are needed. This explains Toyota's renewed interest in the induction motor.”

Permanent magnet motors use strong magnets made with rare earth materials to provide magnetic force. AC Propulsion’s induction motors do not use any permanent magnets. They rely instead on induced magnetism to provide the magnetic force. Possible limits to the availability of rare earth materials have raised concerns about the long-term viability of large permanent magnet motors as used in hybrid and electric vehicles. China, a major suppler of rare earths, may limit exports, increasing these concerns.

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