Drives and Controls Magazine
Renault, Siemens and Valeo to develop rare-earth-free motors
Published:  10 February, 2022

Valeo, the Renault Group and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership to design, develop and manufacture a new generation of rare-earth-free electric motors in France.

Valeo has also announced that it is planning to take full control of the Valeo Siemens eAutomotive joint venture in July 2022, paying Siemens €277m for its 50% stake. The two companies established the JV in 2019 to bring together their high-voltage technology divisions.

The partners in the motors project plan to combine their expertise to design a electric powertrain system that, they say, will be “unparalleled worldwide”, offering more power using less energy, without needing to use rare earth materials.

Renault will develop and produce an electrically excited synchronous motor rotor technology, predicted to enhance energy performance. The car-maker will also be responsible for the overall architecture of the motor.

Valeo and its joint venture with Siemens will develop and produce the stator, based on Valeo’s expertise in copper wire assembly, which will allow them to achieve a high density of copper in the stator for improved efficiency.

The partners aim to start mass-producing 200kW motors in 2027 at Renault’s Cléon plant in Normandy, France.

“This strategic partnership will result in a major step forward for electric mobility,” says Valeo CEO, Christophe Périllat. “Alongside Renault Group, we are creating a new-generation automotive electric motor that eliminates the use of rare earths. This new motor will meet the most stringent environmental requirements and the highest performance standards.”

Renault Group CEO, Luca de Meo, adds that the partnership “is further demonstration of our capacity to be at the forefront of the electric revolution taking place in the automotive industry and to anchor the new automotive value chain in France”.

When Valeo takes full control of the Valeo Siemens eAutomotive joint venture in July, it plans to rename the business Valeo Powertrain Systems, and is projecting an annual growth rate for the business of more than 12% over the period 2021-2025. The JV, which employs more than 4,000 people in five countries, is currently involved in several development projects with sales expected to be worth €11bn.

Valeo, Renault and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive say that their new rare-earth-free motors will offer “unparalleled” performance

Valeo predicts that the high-voltage electrification market will be worth €92bn by 2030 and that 40% of this market will be outsourced to automotive suppliers. By 2030, the market for vehicles equipped with HV electric powertrains – both pure electric and hybrids – will account for 35% of automotive production worldwide.

By the end of 2022, Valeo expects to be supplying electric powertrains, motors, inverters or onboard chargers for more than 90 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle models from 21 automotive manufacturers. The company predicts that sales of its Powertrain Systems Business Group to rise from €5.4bn in 2021 to more than €8.5bn by 2025.

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