Hitachi developing ferrite magnet motors for EV drivetrains

Hitachi developing ferrite magnet motors for EV drivetrains

Hitachi Metals has simulated the use of ferrite magnets in optimised motor designs, suggesting an output level similar to that of motors using rare earth magnets.

Blue View

Ferrite magnets are cheaper to produce than neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets – the magnet of choice in EV traction motors.  Simulations run by Hitachi, the holder of pioneering patents for NdFeB magnets, suggest that using NMF 15 high-performance ferrite magnets in redesigned motors can match existing NdFeB motor performance with either a 30% increase in motor weight or a 50% increase in rotation speed.  The news suggests that rare earth magnets could, in future, see some demand growth ceded to other technologies and motor designs, although Hitachi also remains focussed on improving NdFeB magnet technology.  

Powerful and efficient motors allow automakers to optimise battery capacity, weight, and costs for EVs, making rare earth magnets an important part of the e-mobility revolution.  However, continued improvements and technology developments to NdFeB-based drivetrains are essential and innovation with regard to motor design to use alternative magnets, or fewer NdFeB magnets, will likely also be a key part of the long-term story.

  • 12 Dec 2022
  • Light rare earths
  • Heavy rare earths
  • REE magnets
  • Automotive
  • Magnets & Motors

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