Bentley charges ahead towards recyclable electric motors

Its research intends to build on work completed at the University of Birmingham in developing a method of extracting magnets from waste electronics

A three-year research programme that aims to revolutionise the sustainability of electric motors has been announced by Bentley Motors.

Called RaRE, i.e. Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines, the study intends to build on work completed at the University of Birmingham in developing a method of extracting magnets from waste electronics.

It also aims to scale up this process and repurpose the extracted magnetic materials into new recyclable magnets for use within bespoke ancillary motors.

The method used to create the bespoke motors minimise complexity through manufacture while supporting the development of the UK supply chain for both mass production and low volume components.

The project, which supports the luxury car manufacturer’s commitment to offer only hybrid of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2026, could see the introduction of recycled rare-earth magnets in selected ancillary motors for the very first time.

Dr Matthias Rabe, Member of the Board for Engineering at Bentley Motors said: “As we accelerate our journey to electrification, offering only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026 and fully electric by 2030, it is important that we focus on every aspect of vehicle sustainability, including sustainable methods of sourcing materials and components.

“RaRE promises a step-change in electrical recyclability, providing a source of truly bespoke, low voltage motors for a number of different applications and we are confident the results will provide a basis for fully sustainable electric drives.”

The study will run in parallel to Bentley’s OCTOPUS research programme, which aims to deliver a breakthrough in e-axle electric powertrains, utilising a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports EV architectures.

 

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