Advanced Electric Machines (AEM), a specialist in sustainable motor manufacturing primarily for the automotive industry, has secured £23m (US29m) in investment that will be used to scale up production capacity at its facility in the UK Northeast, deliver ambitious growth plans to establish a global sales footprint, and bolster R&D capabilities.
AEM’s motor technologies remove the need for polluting rare earth metals in EV motors, the production and processing of which is concentrated in China. By eliminating rare earth permanent magnets, costs as well as reliance on geographically concentrated supply chains are reduced, and the recyclability and environmental footprint of the motor is significantly improved.
In the next phase of its strategic growth plan, AEM aims to enhance its manufacturing capabilities by scaling up production capacity at its Northeast facility, leading to the creation of 40 new skilled green jobs over the next two years. With the investment, the company is set to expand its global presence by establishing a comprehensive sales and service footprint, expediting the deployment of its cutting-edge motor solutions.
AEM’s HDSRM motor, designed for commercial vehicles, has already entered production and is actively powering vehicles in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. The company also intends to expedite the development of its SSRD motor for the passenger vehicle segment, a project supported by Innovate UK, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, and partners including Bentley Motors. Additionally, AEM is committed to reinforcing its research and development capabilities to bring its copper-free motor into production, a pivotal step toward enhancing recyclability and positioning AEM as a frontrunner in sustainable electric motor manufacturing on a global scale.
According to AEM, its technology will “enable leading passenger and commercial electric vehicle manufacturers to reduce their environmental impact and dependence on critical supply chains, without compromising on quality and performance”.
Professor James Widmer, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Electric Machines, said, “Today’s funding announcement clears our path to sustainable growth for years to come. It is a vote of confidence from the market in our vision, our technical capabilities and our mission to rid EV motors of harmful and problematic materials. Everyone at AEM and our new partners are excited for the role we are now able to play in making the electric vehicle sector truly sustainable.”
Steven Poulter, head of principal structuring and investments at Barclays, who is set to join the Board of AEM, added, “AEM is solving a fundamental constraint of the EV market – the reliance on rare earth metals for motors – which causes significant cost and supply chain challenges. By producing motors that don’t rely on these metals, AEM is able to remove the key barriers to the production and subsequent adoption of EVs. We are excited to be supporting AEM on the next stage of its journey as it expands into passenger vehicles, a growing market critical to the energy transition.”
The Series A funding round was led by Legal & General Capital and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with significant additional investment from Par Equity. Other investors included Northstar Ventures, the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 and Turquoise Capital.