Electric drivetrain technology manufacturer Schaeffler has signed a five-year contract to purchase rare earth metals from REEtec in order to manufacture permanent magnets for the motors in hybrid modules, hybrid transmissions and e-axles. The contract is scheduled to begin in 2024.
“In REEtec, Schaeffler has gained a highly innovative partner that uses a novel and especially sustainable process for the production of pure rare earth elements,” says Schaeffler COO Andreas Schick. “Schaeffler is focusing on achieving sustainability along the entire value chain and is systematically gearing its activities to the use of materials produced cleanly and sustainably. Through this partnership, we are also securing our supply of neodymium iron boron magnets for electric motors.”
REEtec is a Norwegian manufacturing company that has been using a proprietary technology to separate rare earths on an industrial scale since 2019. “This partnership will complement our overarching sales strategy and allow us to build our industrial facility for the separation of rare earths in Norway,” said REEtec CEO Sigve Sporstøl. The new plant will process rare earth carbonates produced by Vital Metals in Canada.
Schaeffler says its sustainable supply chain goals include decreasing the emissions of preliminary products and raw materials in the supply chain by 25% by 2030, and reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.