GM & Stellantis Among Investors in $33M Company Producing Magnets without use of Rare Earth Metals

General Motors (GM) and Stellantis, two major automotive manufacturers, are part of a group of investors who have collectively injected $33 million into a Minnesota-based company called Niron Magnetics. Niron Magnetics, situated in Minneapolis, has developed an innovative technology for producing magnets used in electric vehicle (EV) motors without relying on expensive rare-earth metals. Instead, the company employs iron nitride, an abundant and cost-effective alternative to rare-earth minerals, to create permanent magnets for EVs.

This investment announcement comes at a time when the rapid growth of electric vehicle sales appears to be slowing down, with GM and Ford recently scaling back their spending in the EV sector. Despite these developments, GM remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing its EV strategy. Kai Daniels, the supervising principal of GM Ventures, emphasized this point by stating, “I can tell you today that GM’s commitment to our EV strategy is as strong as ever.”

While the exact financial contributions from GM and Stellantis were not disclosed, GM did reveal that the collaboration will involve co-developing electric vehicle magnet motor technology. This partnership is expected to aid GM in establishing its EV supply chain within North America, a crucial step for ensuring that its vehicles are eligible for U.S. federal tax credits.

Jonathan Rowntree, the CEO of Niron Magnetics, shared that the company has conducted successful testing of its magnet technology. The collaboration with GM is poised to facilitate the company’s transition into large-scale manufacturing. Rowntree explained, “The critical path for us is really scaling the technology, so it’s implementing the new equipment, the larger scale equipment, to ramp up our manufacturing.”

Currently, Niron Magnetics has a workforce of 60 employees, and they are planning to double this number by the end of the year, with further expansion in mind for the following year. The magnets produced by Niron have a broad range of applications, including consumer electronics, industrial motors, pumps, compressors, wind turbines, and various other products. This technology has the potential to make a significant impact in the electric vehicle and green technology sectors, providing an alternative to rare-earth magnets and contributing to the advancement of sustainable transportation and clean energy solutions.

Source: Associated Press

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