Stealing-- That's a pretty good article, and presents what the companies are saying about their products they hope to sell, and they even admit the big one, without details, which is:
"Reluctance motors still have disadvantages, even now that the control problem has been solved. For example, to deliver a given amount of twisting force—or torque—a reluctance motor has to be larger than an equivalent permanent-magnet motor.
Now, one of the problems is that nations are legislating efficiency, both for gasoline and hybrid powered vehicles, and while I am unaware of any current laws regarding "mileage" of plug-in electric vehicles, as much electricity through out the world is produced by dirty coal and oil fired generating stations, that may be coming too, if not here already. High "mileage" of any stripe is dependent upon the laws of physics, which have a lot to say about translation of energy into work. If you want to move a heavy object like a car or truck, you need to spend more energy. It's hard to cut energy production creation of greenhouse gasses from generating plants or on board generators such as found in hybrids if you have a heavy vehicle. To meet the legislative targets, you need as light a weight vehicle as possible, and permanent magnet motors are lighter by a significant amount, which is why they are popular now, and look to be necessary for quite a while. Not only that, but with the high cost of energy, cost per mile of operation, kind of another way of looking at "mileage" is going to be higher in a heavier vehicle. What we will see for the next 5 to 10 years at least is a mix of reluctance and permanent mag motors, with reluctance motors likely running heavy vehicles, and PMM's runninng lighter passenger vehicles. Below certain sizes, reluctance motors look to be impractical, while REE magnets used in power seats, toothbrushes, and hard drives, have a truly tiny limit on their sizes. There is a reason diesel electric locomotives and ships use various synchronous types of motors...They actually want weight in the case of locomotives, and in ships, they don't really care about size, just cost.
Here's another point not elaborated on by the author:
"The researchers at Newcastle are working with Tata Steel, part of an Indian conglomerate, on using special steels to exploit the magnetic flux more effectively and hence extract more power."..... Many of the newest high strength steels, which allow the same strength for less weight(is this starting to sound familiar?) are being alloyed with small amounts of, you guessed it, Rare Earths. One door closes, another opens. Everyone here is probably also aware of the critical effect that REE's play in development of high strength, high temperature aluminum alloys, as GWTI has done exactly that already for the Department of Defense. Also, recall that the DOD recently reported that their biggest shortfall in rare earths may be in Yttrium for similar purposes for the next several years, and I believe that is what their latest study/development contract with the DOD calls for.
Lastly, the article says this: "The chances are good, therefore, that powerful switched reluctance motors will emerge. That does not automatically mean they will be commercialised, but if the price of rare earths remains high, there is a strong chance that will happen." Notice any resemblance to some idiot's story on the board here last night about Twinkies and dominoes or some such threatening the company's future? Lets parse this out......
"The chances are good, therefore, that powerful switched reluctance motors will emerge. That does not automatically mean they will be commercialised, but if the price of rare earths remains high, there is a strong chance that will happen."
That's quite a few qualifiers in two sentences. Hardly more that the Twinkie guy put in his, which was total B-S, IMHO!
I will only observe one more point, which was not in the article, which is that Non China sources have published similar stories in the past, intended as indirect communication with China to influence their actions, and while no doubt true, as is everything stated in the article quoted, their chances of being realized in the real world will most likely not be very high in the near future, and reasonable supply of REE metals and alloys will always have a market at good prices, just not at the bubble rates so many companies were counting on. Luckily, as wwwater's charts and our own research show, GWMG can be very profitable on the lower prices predicted, and will be developing the new uses for REE's at GWTI and LCM. So....reason to sell out? no. And with MCP and Lynas both struggling in the real world, tiny little insignificant GWMG has plenty of room for expansion in the ROW, and they will be the front-runners in the sector for some time to come.
Twinkies anyone? They'll be gone soon, better stock up. Luckily their shelf life is legendary, and you can use them as nite-lites in the meantime, for at least 2.6 years.