GKN Automotive, a pioneer in electric drive systems, is developing a prototype electric motor using recycled rare earth magnets.
As a partner in the SCREAM (Secure Critical Rare Earth Magnets for UK) project, a team at GKN will re-engineer an 800v eDrive motor with recycled magnets produced by fellow partners in the consortium.
This is to test the magnets’ performance and suitability in electric motors.
The work will be undertaken as part of a £3.4m collaborative research project across the automotive, technology and recycling industries.
More broadly, the SCREAM project aims to establish a supply chain of recycled magnets, which can then be used in different applications, including electric motors.
SCREAM is part-funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, and includes GKN Automotive, Mkango Rare Earths, HyProMag, Bowers & Wilkins, European Metal Recycling, Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Birmingham.
By reusing rare earth magnets in electric motors, GKN can improve product sustainability as this would reduce embedded emissions and the use of raw materials.
Mkango and HyProMag will process magnets from end-of-life vehicles, robots, separators, and loudspeakers. GKN, Jaguar Land Rover, and Bowers & Wilkins will then evaluate these magnets for product sustainability. Recycled magnets will be assessed for their magnetic, corrosion and mechanical performance.
Gordon Day, managing director of GKN Automotive Innovation Centre, said: “This leading research project, which brings together key industry leaders across multiple sectors, is vital to ensuring a secure and sustainable supply chain for next-generation electric powertrains. Rare earth magnets are a key component of electric motors and developing a robust solution for recovering and reusing them will help us reduce our environmental impact in the future.”
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