UQM Technologies has secured US$3m from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop non-rare-earth magnet electric motors for use in electric and hybrid
electric vehicles.

“We are pleased the DOE has again selected our company to assist in advancing motor and generator technology for electric and hybrid electric vehicles,” said UQM Technologies president and CEO Eric Ridenour. “This DOE grant will help us apply our extensive experience with the design and engineering of electric motors to the exploration of non-rare-earth magnet motor technology.

“Our objective is to identify and evaluate magnet materials and technology
that can deliver the performance our customers expect, broaden our product portfolio, potentially lower magnet cost and limit our exposure to price and supply concerns associated with rare earth magnets.”

The engineering team at UQM will work with Ames Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and apply these new magnet materials in a high performance permanent magnet motor.

“The goal of this new technology we are developing will be motor designs that apply
to a full range of vehicle electrification, from mild hybrid to heavy hybrid to full electric vehicles,” UQM Technologies vice president of engineering Jon Lutz.

“We believe our motor concepts coupled with extensive experience in motor design
will allow us to achieve the objectives of this programme.”

UQM will cost-share 25% of the US$4m effort in the development programme.