November 23, 2012 (ENS) – A variety of electric motors that use no rare earth minerals are being developed in the United States to power future generations of electric vehicles.
Private U.S. companies, universities and national government laboratories – working alone and in collaboration – are designing and beginning to manufacture electric motors without rare earth minerals that are expensive and in limited supply.
Earlier this month, the Chicago startup company Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) won the $250,000 grand prize in the national Cleantech Open competition with its patented switched reluctance motor.
HEVT says its “switched reluctance motor technologies are poised to empower the next generation of electric motors, making performance leaps with unmatched reliability and reduced cost volatility due to the use of zero rare earth minerals.”
Rare earth minerals with magnetic and conductive properties are used in hybrid car batteries and in most of today’s electronic devices.
China supplies nearly all of the world’s supply of rare earths. These minerals are found in other countries, including the United States, but are difficult to mine safely. China controlled the world’s supply due to low labor costs and lax environmental regulations. read more>>>