General Motors and Niron Magnetics have announced a strategic partnership to co-develop Clean Earth Magnet motor technology. Why is this important? Well, GM needs magnets for its Ultium EV platform. Unfortunately, permanent magnets in EV motor rotors are typically made from rare earth materials that are expensive and currently processed almost entirely overseas. This is where U.S.-based Niron comes in. The company has developed the world’s first and only permanent magnet with automotive-grade power that is entirely free of critical materials.
GM’s All-Electric Vision Needs Magnets
GM has an all-electric vision of the future. Part of making that happen requires developing a wide lineup of affordable and sustainable EVs. Obviously, EV motors are a major component of the Ultium platform. By partnering with Niron, GM sees an opportunity to reduce cost and environmental impact compared to traditional magnet materials. It also strengthens the company’s North American EV supply chain. In addition to the partnership, GM Ventures has made an investment in Niron. The company will join over 30 other companies in GM Ventures portfolio. The investment will help scale Niron’s manufacturing and commercialization of its sustainable magnets.
EV Motor Magnet 101
The permanent magnets in EV motor rotors are typically made from rare earth minerals like terbium, dysprosium, praseodymium and neodymium. These are costly and currently processed almost entirely overseas. The mining, extraction, and manufacturing processes are labor-intensive, costly, and have environmental impact. Additionally, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions have caused price instability and recent surges for these materials.
Niron, a U.S. company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has created a breakthrough in magnet technology with its Clean Earth Magnet. It’s the first and only permanent magnet with automotive-grade power that is entirely free from critical materials. This revolutionary technology, based on abundant and affordable iron nitride, holds immense potential for commercial use in future EVs. Niron’s proprietary Clean Earth Magnet technology delivers superior magnetization at a lower cost. Further, it utilizes a patented scalable process that sources abundant and globally sustainable iron and nitrogen raw materials. By leveraging breakthrough nanomaterials and proven metallurgical methods, Niron’s manufacturing process delivers high-performance magnets at half the cost. Drawing from over a decade of research and development, Niron’s manufacturing techniques precisely control and manipulate the crystal structure of iron nitride, resulting in high-strength magnets.
Clean Earth Magnet Compared to Rare Earth (Neodymium)
According to Niron, its Clean Earth Magnet outperforms rare earth (Neodymium) magnets in several areas. This includes cost, temperature stability, price stability, and environmental impact.
Partnership with Clear Goals
Representatives from Niron and GM offered comments on the partnership. Niron’s CEO Jonathan Rowntree, says, “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.” Anirvan Coomer, president of GM Ventures, says, “We believe Niron’s unique technology can play a key role in reducing rare earth minerals from EV motors and help us further scale our North American-based supply chain for EVs. Our path to an all-electric future will be enabled not only by our own research and development efforts, but also by investing in next generation technology from startups and established companies outside our four walls.”