As per ESG Today, permanent magnets are an essential component for the manufacturing of electric motors, such as those used in electric cars, but they are also useful when building renewable energy sources and consumer electronics.
As sustainable materials became more important for the automotive sector, 2015-founded Niron Magnetics developed their line of "Clean Earth Magnets", which are made using readily-available and abundant materials, such as iron and nitrogen. Thus, the magnets developed by the company can be manufactured with worldwide available materials and are free from rare earth elements, which are increasingly harder to find.
Being half the cost of traditional permanent magnets, the ones developed by Niron from sustainable materials are said to offer at least the same performance, meaning that they are not only potentially a green-product, but also cheaper and high quality.
Adam Bazih, Managing Partner at Stellantis Ventures said that "we were drawn to invest in Niron by the impressive sustainability benefits that its Clean Earth Magnet technology offers for vehicles and the inherent scalability of their solution. Making powerful magnets from plentiful commodity materials decouples new production from rare earth mine development and lowers overall environmental impact, which directly aligns with Stellantis’ commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2038."
Officials at Niron Magnetics explained that the recent investment round will enable the company to scale the production at its existing facilities, as well as make the sustainable magnets available for its first customers, which will use them in pilot products.
Jonathan Rowntree, CEO at Niron, said that his company looks to the future development of sustainable magnets, as "GM and Stellantis both see the potential for Niron’s technology to help drive the automotive industry’s transition to EVs. We look forward to collaborating closely with all of our investors and partners to work towards enabling a rare earth-free future in magnetics."