Iron nitride magnets cheaper, easier to source
Developments could slash EV prices
General Motors is partnering with an MN-based magnets company in an effort to get more affordable magnets for EV motors. The collaboration with Niron Magnetics is also meant to help bring the company’s supply chain back into North America.
Niron has developed what it calls “the world’s first and only permanent magnet with automotive-grade power that is entirely free from critical materials.” That means no rare earths or heavy rare earths. Instead, it uses iron nitride, which is abundant and affordable.
“We believe Niron’s unique technology can play a key role in reducing rare earth minerals from EV motors and help us further scale our North American-based supply chain for EVs,” said Anirvan Coomer, president of GM Ventures. “Our path to an all-electric future will be enabled not only by our own research and development efforts, but also by investing in next generation technology from startups and established companies outside our four walls.”
“GM invented rare earth permanent magnets nearly 40 years ago, and now we’re working together to bring the next generation of automotive magnet technology to market,” said Jonathan Rowntree, CEO of Niron Magnetics. “We think that our Clean Earth Magnets can help GM in its goal to put everyone in an EV.”
GM did not say when the company’s magnets might find their way into a production EV, Ultium or otherwise.