Colorado-based UQM Technologies Inc. says it has been granted a U.S. patent for an electric and hybrid electric vehicle motor design using non-rare-earth magnets.
The majority of electric and hybrid electric vehicles produced today use permanent-magnet motors with rare-earth magnet materials. However, UQM says its new design provides an alternative technology to reduce exposure to price and supply volatility of such materials. The patent, issued on Jan. 6, covers the magnet geometry and the method of manufacturing the motor.
Implementation of this patented technology is part of a $4 million U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research and Development Grant previously awarded to UQM for the development of electric motors that do not use rare-earth magnets.
Eric R. Ridenour, president and CEO of UQM Technologies, says, “We are now in the prototype stage, and the first samples are meeting our objectives, providing us with the validation to move into the next phase of development.”