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Nissan Plans to Reduce the Use of Rare Earth Elements in Electric Motors to Less Than 1%
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Nissan Plans to Reduce the Use of Rare Earth Elements in Electric Motors to Less Than 1%

On March 9th, Nissan announced a new technology for an electric drive powertrain called "X-in-1". According to this new technology, the core components of Nissan's pure electric and e-POWER vehicle systems will achieve shared and modular applications.

Currently, Nissan Automotive has successfully developed a "3-in-1" powertrain prototype, which has modular designs for motors, inverters, and reducers, and will be applied to pure electric vehicles. In addition, the "5-in-1" prototype further realizes the modular design of motors, inverters, reducers, generators, and speed increasers, and will be applied to Nissan e-POWER models. These integration methods can allow the core components of Nissan's pure electric vehicle and e-POWER technology to share the same production line.

Through the universalization and modularization of the components and technologies mentioned above, as well as the evolution of core technologies, Nissan Automobile expects that by 2026, the company's research and development and manufacturing costs will be reduced by 30% compared to 2019, achieving the goal of keeping the cost of e-POWER models in line with that of fuel models.

In terms of core technology, a reporter from First Finance learned that in order to reduce the cost of electric vehicles, the use of heavy rare earths in the newly developed motors of Nissan Motors will be reduced to less than 1%.

Coincidentally, at the Tesla 2023 Investor Day held in early March of this year, Tesla engineers also stated that Tesla's next-generation platform would reduce the use of silicon carbide by 75%, and the next-generation permanent magnet motor would completely eliminate the use of rare earth materials without loss of energy efficiency, resulting in a total manufacturing cost reduction of $1000.

In response, Nissan executives said in interviews with media such as First Financial that Tesla would reduce the use of silicon carbide by 75%, a development direction consistent with that of Nissan Automobile. Silicon carbide is a very expensive material, and how to reduce its usage is actually the key to improving competitiveness and reducing costs.

As for magnet materials, there are some differences in the development routes between Tesla and Nissan. The above executive added, "Nissan's idea is to reduce the use of rare earth elements in weight, with the ultimate goal of reducing the proportion to zero. Tesla's idea is to stop using all rare earth materials, including neodymium magnets, which is not the same as our direction. Nissan is developing a new generation of neodymium magnets, which cannot be explained in detail at present, but we are also working to reduce costs."

Currently, the development of new energy vehicles in China is in full swing, and the sales volume has remained the first in the world for 8 consecutive years. However, Japanese cars previously labeled as durable and economical in the field of fuel vehicles have repeatedly suffered setbacks in the field of new energy. According to the data of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in 2022, the domestic market sales of self owned brand new energy passenger vehicles accounted for 79.9%, up 5.4 percentage points year-on-year.

In an interview with the media, Nissan executives said that in the past 10 years, China's independent brands have made remarkable progress, as have the development of electric vehicles. The technology development is very fast, the performance is very high, the appearance is very cool, and the launch speed of new cars is also very fast. "I greatly admire the achievements made by Chinese independent brands. Nissan Automobile also has its own strengths and characteristics. We have been selling electric vehicles in different countries for over a decade and have accumulated a lot of electric drive technology. In the future, we want to take advantage of such technological advantages and engage in friendly competition with some Chinese automobile manufacturers."

According to the "Nissan Vision 2030", Nissan plans to launch 27 new electric drive models by the 2030 fiscal year, including 19 pure electric models, further strengthening the product portfolio.

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