Bentley’s New EV Powertrain Project Ditches Rare-Earth Magnets For Recyclables

It’s a three-year research project called OCTOPUS and the e-axle electric powertrains that will result could be an EV breakthrough.

Bentley won’t launch its first fully-electric vehicle until 2026, but until then it plans to develop its own unique EV powertrain solution. It will be the result of a three-year research project that is funded by the U.K.’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) which will see nine different companies working together.

The goal is to create what they call an e-axle whose motors don’t require rare-earth magnets (such as Neodymium, SmCo or AlNiCo magnets). They also want to have motors that don’t require copper windings and provide a package that isn’t too expensive to put together, while also being fully recyclable at the end of its life.