Bentley Motors have announced a three-year research study that aims to revolutionise the sustainability of electric motors. Supporting Bentley’s commitment to offering only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026, the result could see recycled rare-earth magnets used in selected ancillary motors for the very first time.
The study, titled RaRE (Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines), intends to build on work completed at the University of Birmingham in devising a method of extracting magnets from waste electronics. Furthermore, the project will scale-up this process and repurpose the extracted magnetic material into new recyclable magnets for use within bespoke ancillary motors.
Adding to the sustainability benefits that RaRE will provide, the bespoke motors created through this method promise to minimise complexity through manufacture. It will also support the development of the UK supply chain for both mass production and low volume components.
Dr Matthias Rabe, member of the board for engineering at Bentley Motors, said: “As we accelerate our journey to electrification, offering only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026, and full electric by 2030, it is important that we focus on every aspect of vehicle sustainability, including sustainable methods of sourcing materials and components.
“RaRE promises a step-change in electrical recyclability, providing a source of truly bespoke, low voltage motors for a number of different applications and we are confident the results will provide a basis for fully sustainable electric drives.”
This study will run in parallel with Bentley’s OCTOPUS research programme. This aims to deliver a breakthrough in e-axle electric powertrains, utilising a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures.
As with OCTOPUS, RaRE is an OZEV funded project delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. It brings together the six partners with distinct roles and responsibilities. These include Bentley Motors, Hypromag, Unipart Powertrain Applications Ltd, Advanced Electric Machines Research Ltd, Intelligent Lifecycle Solutions Ltd and the University of Birmingham.
It is so impressive to see a car manufacturer known for its large powerful and polluting internal combustion engines making such a big change in the way it does business. Not only are Bentley committing to changing their vehicles to cleaner and zero-emissions over the coming decade, but are working hard in all areas of sustainability. This will only add to their credibility as a modern car manufacture in the coming years.