A consortium including industry and academia, led by Caerphilly-based advanced research and development firm Deregallera, will begin work on an alternative motor for electric vehicles that’s less harmful to the global environment, thanks to support from the £1.8m Ford Low Carbon Vehicle Transformation Fund.
Administered by the Welsh Government as part of Ford’s legacy in Wales, the Low Carbon Vehicle Transformation Fund was established to help address strategic technical challenges associated with low-carbon vehicles.
Electric motors have been in use for decades. Of the many different motor types, permanent magnet motors offer the best performance. However, nearly 85% of the world’s reserves of the special materials needed for permanent magnets come from China.
In addition to the geo-political issues that result from relying on one country for natural resources, current practices mean this finite resource is being depleted, which results in worrying environmental issues, including concerns about the long-term sustainability of distributing “rare earth” material around the globe.
Thanks to funding from the Ford Low Carbon Vehicle Transformation Fund, one of the first projects to be supported will see Caerphilly-based Deregallera lead a project that will involve them working with Cwmbran-based firm Meritor and academics at Cardiff University to design, develop and test a new low-carbon electric vehicle motor which uses fewer “rare earth” materials, making them cheaper and minimising environmental and climate impacts.
The project, which could have significant positive impacts on the environment, will help deliver the Welsh Government’s ambitious net zero commitments.
The Ford Low Carbon Vehicle Transformation Fund will open for a second round of applications on Monday 1 August 2022.