The extraction of rare earths, those metals widely used in most of our electronic devices, is usually at the crossroads of the worst in terms of working conditions and carbon footprint. Is this the reason why Renault and Valeo have joined forces to produce the first generation of electric motors without rare earths? Impossible to know. Still, this association should quickly bear fruit: in 2027, the successor to the Mégane E-Tech Electric will have an electric motor entirely devoid of rare earths.
The successor to the Mégane E-Tech Electric (above) will have an electric motor without rare earths
The objective could also be economic: this new synchronous motor with wound rotor without permanent magnets, although more complex to produce, will also be much less expensive to produce; because rare earths have a price, which is far from negligible in the process of mass production. It should be noted that the partnership agreement between Renault and Valeo does not prohibit the latter from offering its EV engine to other manufacturers. Finally, we will recall here that Renault is not the only manufacturer to draw a line under rare earths, this is also the case with BMW, with an engine with an architecture very close to that of Valeo and that we found in the EV i4.