BMW’s Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet

BMW’s Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet – Although growing rapidly, apparently the electric vehicle industry cannot be separated from complicated problems. The electric vehicle industry is looking for ways to solve the rare earth metal problem. This effort is increasingly difficult to obtain ethically, without compromising the efficiency of the motor.

BMW’s Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet

BMW recently released the fifth generation of BMW electric motors. The electric motor will power their new BMW iX M60. These results provide a solution that combines old-school sensibility with high-tech EV technology. Their goal is very clear which is to actually increase efficiency without using rare earth minerals. All of these realities come from a report from MotorTrends.

BMW's Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet

Old Technology Improves EV Sustainability

BMW recently announced that the standard combined output of the front and rear motors of its new iX M60 will produce 532 hp and 749 lb-ft of torque. The front motor will put out 255 hp. Meanwhile, the rear motor in normal operation will produce 483 hp. Other modes like Sport Boost mode will see the combined output jump up to 610 hp.

To achieve this impressive number, BMW developed a magnet-free fifth-generation motor. The electric motor operates as a three-phase AC synchronous motor and, in retro rotation, uses brushes and a commutator to power its rotor windings. Normally, brushes and commutators generate dust and cause wear and tear that requires periodic replacement. That’s why most electric vehicle makers choose not to use them.

However, BMW hopes that the use of modern materials and high-tech sealing technology will mean a longer life for brushed motors than is usually the case. According to MotorTrend, a BMW representative told them that the new motor brush module is housed “in a closed and sealed compartment, eliminating dust contamination within the stator/rotor wires.”

Turn away from rare earth metals

BMW's Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet
BMW’s new electric motor combines old and new technologies. Credit: BMW

The rare earth metals used in permanent magnet motors are increasingly difficult to obtain in an ethical manner and China controls more than 90 percent of the world’s material reserves. Companies such as German firm MAHLE and even Bentley are developing highly efficient magnet-free induction motors in a bid to reduce this heavy dependence on China as well as to improve the sustainability record of an industry built largely on the promise of reducing fossil fuel consumption.

BMW has followed suit with its new magnet-free electric motor. According to the automaker, its fifth-generation motors have a greater energy density, better heat management, and faster switching frequencies. All of this, the company says, “translates to higher RPM, more torque, and even more power.”

In other words, BMW is helping the electric vehicle industry to address one of the problems that prompted detractors to claim that it is not as good for the planet as advertised. And it does this while enabling the impressive specs showcased by its new iX M60.

2 thoughts on “BMW’s Fifth Generation Electric Motor Without Magnet

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