Worlds First Rare Earth Free Automotive DCT Motor developed by LG Innotek
LG Innotek has developed world’s first rare earth free automotive dual- clutch transmission (DCT) motor. The motor marks an important breakthrough since it will ease concerns among automakers about their reliance on uncertain rare earth supplies. Rare earth elements are usually used in materials for automotive motors, but they are difficult to source and are subject to sharp price increases when supplies dwindle. There are only small and concentrated reserves worldwide of the rare earth minerals, which are often used to provide magnetic properties for automotive motors. LG Innotek spent more than two years in developing the technology and registered 13 related Korean and foreign patent applications.
Minerals like Neodymium (Nd) and Dysprosium (Dy) are considered essential in the manufacture of DCT motors due to their magnetic properties. The DCT motor is a core driving system component that is attached to a dual-clutch automatic transmission. This motor powers the dual-clutch automatic transmission in a fast and precise manner to enable the switching of gears swiftly and smoothly to adjust to different driving conditions. The dual-clutch automatic transmission equipped with the DCT motor is gaining attention in Europe and other developed markets since it delivers up to 12 percent better fuel efficiency than regular automatic transmissions and 5 percent better fuel efficiency than manual transmissions. The new DCT motor will start being produced at LG Innotek’s automotive components plant in Mexico from early next year.