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GM and Niron partner to co-develop iron nitride EV motor magnets

GM and Niron Magnetics (earlier post) have completed a strategic partnership agreement to co-develop Clean Earth Magnet motor technology that can be used in future GM EVs. GM Ventures has also made an investment in Niron, which will join the ranks of its 30-plus portfolio companies. The investment will support the scaling of Niron’s manufacturing and commercialization of their sustainable magnets.

GM Venture’s investment was part of a $33-million round for Niron, with new investments also from Stellantis Ventures, and previous local investors, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the University of Minnesota (UMN), among other investors.

The permanent magnets in EV motor rotors are typically made from rare earth minerals such as terbium, dysprosium, praseodymium and neodymium, which are expensive and currently processed almost entirely overseas.

Niron Magnetics has developed the world’s first and only permanent magnet with automotive-grade power that is entirely free from critical materials, including rare or heavy rare earth minerals. Niron’s proprietary Clean Earth Magnet technology is based on iron nitride (FeN), an abundant and affordable material with great potential for commercial use in future EVs.

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. We think that our Clean Earth Magnets can help GM in its goal to put everyone in an EV.

—Jonathan Rowntree, CEO of Niron Magnetics


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