Tesla has presented to investors its “next generation permanent magnet motor.”
Tesla, the leading electric vehicle manufacturer, is set to remove rare Earth minerals from its cars, potentially eliminating a major environmental concern with the growing number of EVs.
The company made the announcement during its Master Plan 3 Investor event where it revealed its business strategy for the next few years.
Next-gen Permanent Magnet Motor
According to Wired, a member of Tesla’s power train executive team, Colin Campbell, presented slides to investors showing that Tesla’s Model Y motors contained around 520g of rare Earth materials.
The minerals are used in neodymium magnets, which are combined with other elements to create a magnetic field powerful enough to move the car. However, Tesla is concerned about the instability of the supply of rare Earth minerals and the high toxicity of mining them.
To address these issues, Campbell presented Tesla’s “next generation permanent magnet motor,” which does not use any rare Earth materials. While the company did not specify which minerals it plans to remove, it is known that neodymium is a significant contributor, with 500g used in each Model Y.
Eliminating neodymium, which is a challenge due to the limited number of minerals that can generate the required magnetic field, could be a daunting task for Tesla.
Some experts have suggested that ferrite, a ceramic material made of iron and oxygen, could be a potential replacement. However, ferrite is about ten times weaker than neodymium magnets.
Tesla currently employs permanent magnets in the rear wheels and externally supplied electrical current to power the front wheels. The use of rare Earth materials is not unique to Tesla, as other EV manufacturers also use them in their vehicles.
Learn more: TechTimes