Dowlais to target U.S. rare earth magnets for electric vehicles

UK auto supplier Dowlais is developing rare earth magnets for production in the U.S. market as carmakers look to source more parts locally and benefit from subsidies provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, its top executive said on Thursday.

The company aims to launch production within 12 to 18 months and is talking to a wide range of carmakers and top tier suppliers about providing them for electric vehicles, CEO Liam Butterworth told Reuters.

“We see the inflation reduction act as a very good opportunity for us because the people building electric motors will have sourcing challenges as 95 percent of the world’s magnets today come from China,” Butterworth said. “We’re working right the way down to rare earth sources to make sure that we’ve got the right supply chain in place.”

Butterworth said that the rare earths would be sourced in Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe. The company has spent four years localizing production and supply chains in Europe, North America and Asia. 

“We’re really well positioned to support our North American customers who need localized suppliers,” he said.

Once Europe passes its own version of the inflation reduction act, Dowlais will likely make rare earth magnets there too, Butterworth said.

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