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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
specifically, does anyone know what type of motor is used to power the Karma? is it a permanent magnet motor and if so, who makes them? I have a rare earth refinery project on the go and the plan was always to provide Nd/Pr/Dy feedstock material to a large scale 'mega magnet' factory but I'd like to continue the vertical integration and set my eyes on making high powered permanent magnet motors for the automotive and boating industry.
 

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specifically, does anyone know what type of motor is used to power the Karma? is it a permanent magnet motor and if so, who makes them? I have a rare earth refinery project on the go and the plan was always to provide Nd/Pr/Dy feedstock material to a large scale 'mega magnet' factory but I'd like to continue the vertical integration and set my eyes on making high powered permanent magnet motors for the automotive and boating industry.

The Motors are PM and the rear earth magnets make up most of the cost of the motor >50% (~$1200/motor). JJE sources, designs and manufacturers the motors and generator. De-magnetization occurs at an almost unobtainable temp of ~180C thus the high grade/expense of these rare earth magnets. If a lower thermal requirement was specified a lower grade of permanent magnets could be used reducing the cost and complexity of these motors.

When Fisker launched the Karma in 2011 the commodity magnet price caused a huge fluctuation in the price of the motors. Most OEM's now use less rare earth magnets to limit the commodity fluctuations, Tesla uses an induction motor that does not require any PM's but instead a copper rotor. PM industry seems to be on the back end of a monopoly with electric machines. The supply chain has adapted and is using less and less PM's to ensure that commodity prices don't cut into non-pass through vehicle margins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Powersource!
A lot of work has been done on substituting or finding ways to use less RE's in magnets and that's all good work that should be done. For example, the Japanese found ways of putting in Dy through grain boundary technology that lowered their requirements by about 1/3rd while keeping the same level of magnetic coercivity (in high temps) however, in the end, finding substitutes has been difficult and I've given many talks where I've warned people of 'substituting themselves right out of the market.'

Rare Earths have unique properties that just can't be replaced effectively and rather than look at ways to making inferior products without them, we focus on finding ways to obtain rare earths at a secure, cheap price. I'm not here to plug my company but we have a new process of rare earth refining that lowers the cost dramatically and we are funded by the US DoD because there is a desire to have rare earth refining technology in North America.

In a few years we will be able to secure long term, cheap sources of RE magnets and rather than just pass this onto motor manufacturers, why not just become the largest PM motor/generator manufacturer on our own.
 
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