The purpose of this project is to significantly impact the European Community by increasing energy efficiency over a wide range of EV operating conditions, and by reducing the cost of materials used in next generation electric vehicles. MAG-DRIVE contributes directly to The European Green Cars Initiative and the call GC.SST.2013-2 “Next Generation Electric Motors“, prioritising research focused on:
- Weight reduction and power density increase (stronger magnets increase power density and reduce weight)
- Increased efficiency, including smart packaging of power electronics and integrated thermal management (better magnets are more efficient; partner Valeo will develop research for the smart packaging, power electronics, and integrated thermal management for the new materials)
- Optimised design and processes for manufacturing and dismantling (MAG-DRIVE partners KE and MAGNETI will optimise magnet production designs to be efficient, low waste, recyclable, and eco-friendly)
- Novel or substantially improved materials for permanent magnets replacing or greatly reducing rare earths content, or innovative magnet-free designs (this is the project’s primary research focus)
The anticipated scientific breakthroughs of MAG-DRIVE will have a great impact on the field of permanent magnets, and directly contribute to the European Green Cars Initiative and the Next Generation Electric Motors call by increasing the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of EMs over a wide range of EV operating conditions, and by reducing the material costs of next-generation electric vehicles. MAG-DRIVE has the potential to free the permanent magnet industry from its reliance on a single imported source of heavy-rare-earth (HRE) materials, allowing prioritised European industries, especially next-generation “green” vehicles, to enjoy unfettered growth. Europe can then regain its position as a major manufacturer of permanent magnets, helping to close the technology gap between Europe and Asia. While it is not possible to quantify the value of these knock-on economic effects in dependent industries, their potential value for Europe is certainly in the hundreds of billions. MAG-DRIVE will have a strong impact along a number of axes: on magnet manufacture in Europe, on the future of electric vehicles, on the quality of European scientific achievement, and on MAG-DRIVEs industrial partners’ businesses.