No doubt electric vehicles are some of the cleanest modes of transportations today. But in order to build a hybrid or pure-EV, a lot of natural resources must be used. In particular, rare earth resources are used for both the batteries and the electric motor, most of which have to be mined. As such, they aren’t really that eco-friendly nor sustainable considering all the materials used. British luxury marque Bentley wants to change that.
While we often associate Bentleys with either a V8 or a W12, their future models will be electric. Specifically, it could be powered by this new electric motor and powertrain. It’s not just any electric motor either. This one is said to be free from rare-earth magnets and copper windings used in the traditional EVs.
At the moment, the powertrain is still early in the research and study phase. The study is titled OCTOPUS which stands for Optimised Components, Test and simulatiOn, toolkits for Powertrains which integrate Ultra high-speed motor Solutions; yes, it’s a mouthful. According to Bentley, the study follows an “initial 18-month investigation that delivered a technological breakthrough in electric drive systems for high-performance vehicles”.
The resulting electric drive system is expected to exceed the latest permanent magnet motor performance while simultaneously removing the need for both rare-earth magnets and copper windings. This makes it more cost-effective and even recyclable at the end of its life cycle. More importantly, it will make EVs truly clean vehicles to purchase and use.
“With the industry, technologies and cars changing faster than ever before, research projects such as OCTOPUS are crucial to deliver innovative technologies and overcome challenges for the next generation of mobility solutions,” said Stefan Fischer, Director of Powertrain Engineering at Bentley.
OCTOPUS will then use this motor and package it next-gen material, manufacturing process, and transmission to be able to deliver a full e-axle powertrain with “unique levels of integration and revolutionary performance characteristics suitable for real-world application by 2026”.
Hopefully, Bentley’s OCTOPUS study and powertrain work out. That way, people can drop the argument that EVs aren’t clean due to the resources used to create their batteries and electric motors.