New "Dynamic Motor Drive" Could Eliminate Need for Rare Earth Materials in EVs

New "Dynamic Motor Drive" Could Eliminate Need for Rare Earth Materials in EVs

New "Dynamic Motor Drive" Could Eliminate Need for Rare Earth Materials in EVs

­Where it concerns EVs and efficiency, every little bit helps. Silicon Valley-based Tula Technology may have found a way to boost EVs’ efficiency while doing a solid for the environment.

We recently covered a report which claims the Hummer EV emits more pollutants than a gas-powered Chevy Malibu. 

The key is the “upstream emissions,” like the fact that the electricity for EVs often comes from dirty sources (like a coal-fired power plant).

EVs (especially the batteries) also rely heavily on rare Earth materials, and mining for them not only occurs under less-than-optimal labor conditions, but the mining, itself, is pretty far from green.

The impetuous behind EVs is as much an environmental triumph as a technological one, so we need to clean up all facets of the process — from “cradle to grave” — that aren’t environmentally sound. 

Otherwise, why make the switch? That’s where Tula comes in.

According to Ars Technica, Tula’s Dynamic Motor Drive (DMD) “pulses the electric motor to operate within a ‘sweet spot’ of efficiency.”

This helps eliminate rare Earth materials from the motor, and it leads to an efficiency gain of about 3%.

Like its name implies, rare Earth materials are pretty scarce, and as the supply has begun to dry up, the price has shot up about 90% in the last couple years.

While the U.S. might be expanding its rare Earth material mining, it’s not only incompatible with our green aspirations, but it won’t be enough to meet the demand.

Tula claims that over $2 Billion rare Earth material demand will go unmet in 2030, and this is especially worrying because, as it stands, about 90% of modern EVs have permanent magnet (PM) motors.

By pulsing the magnetic field at optimal efficiency, the DMD supposedly reduces core and inverter switching losses, resulting in a 25% reduction in energy loss.

But as promising as it sounds, the new system is still in the preliminary stages, and Tula is currently trying to equip a BMW i4 with DMD.