British startup Advanced Electric Machines (AEM) has secured significant funding of £23 million ($29 million) to expand production of its electric vehicle (EV) motors. What sets AEM’s motors apart is that they are manufactured without the use of rare-earth metals or copper, making them fully recyclable. This Series A funding round was led by Legal & General Capital and the Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital initiative, both investors in climate change-related startups.
Based in Washington, located in the industrial northeast of England, AEM has already introduced a rare-earth-free commercial motor for electric buses and other vehicles in Europe, North America, and Asia. The recent investment will enable the company to develop a copper-free motor for EVs, with a focus on passenger cars and commercial vehicles. According to AEM CEO James Widmer, the inclusion of these motors can increase the range of an EV by at least 10%.
While AEM collaborates with Bentley, Volkswagen’s luxury brand, on an EV motor, Widmer did not disclose other potential customers. However, he mentioned that the company is actively in talks with several car manufacturers in Europe and elsewhere.
The race to create EV motors with minimal or no rare-earth content has gained momentum among European, American, and Japanese automakers. This competition for alternatives stems from China’s dominant position in the extraction and processing of this group of 17 metals. Traditional EV motors with rare-earth permanent magnets typically contain about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of copper. In comparison, rare-earth-free options available in the market can contain twice that amount.
One of the challenges associated with motors containing copper is the difficulty in recycling them due to copper’s melting point being similar to that of steel. However, AEM has solved this problem with its use of aluminum and steel motors. These motors can be easily recycled by melting them in a furnace, contributing to AEM’s commitment to sustainability. The company’s dedication to environmental responsibility has been a key factor in attracting investments from prominent stakeholders.
Q: What is Advanced Electric Machines?
A: Advanced Electric Machines (AEM) is a British startup specializing in the production of electric vehicle (EV) motors. They prioritize sustainability by creating motors that do not contain rare-earth metals or copper, making them fully recyclable.
Q: What was AEM’s recent funding round?
A: AEM recently raised £23 million ($29 million) in a Series A funding round led by Legal & General Capital and the Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital initiative.
Q: What is unique about AEM’s motors?
A: AEM’s motors are unique because they do not contain rare-earth metals or copper. This exceptional feature makes them fully recyclable and environmentally friendly.
Q: How do AEM’s motors contribute to sustainability?
A: AEM’s motors are easily recyclable due to their aluminum and steel composition. This allows for a more sustainable approach to the production and disposal of EV motors.