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UQM Technologies progressing on non-rare-earth electric motor under DOE development program

13 November 2012

UQM Technologies, Inc. says it has completed the electromagnetic design and analysis for a non-rare-earth magnet electric motor as part of the work being done under the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research and Development Grant. The next phase under the DOE grant is the mechanical design of the motor. Work on this is now underway at UQM to produce a concept-unit build in the next calendar year.

Leveraging our expertise in electric motor design, we’ve developed an electromagnetic design that produces competitive power-density and efficiency with non-rare-earth magnets. This is great progress toward our objective of identifying magnet materials and technology that can deliver the performance our customers expect while limiting our exposure to price and supply concerns associated with rare-earth magnets.

—Eric R. Ridenour, President and CEO of UQM Technologies, Inc.

This work on non-rare-earth magnet motors is funded through a $4-million award to UQM as part of a DOE Advanced Research and Development Grant. Under the agreement, UQM is cost-sharing 25% of the total effort. The engineering team at UQM is working collaboratively with Ames Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and apply these non-rare-earth magnets in a high-performance permanent magnet motor.

The key to using non-rare-earth magnets in electric motors for vehicles is our patent-pending motor geometry, which in part defines the shape and magnetization direction of the permanent magnets. The completion of the electromagnetic design and analysis task is a significant step in the process of advancing motor and generator technology for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, providing an alternative to rare-earth magnets in permanent-magnet motor designs.

—Jon Lutz, UQM Technologies’ Vice President of Engineering

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