At 17, he created a high-performance electric motor without rare earths

At 17 years old, Robert Sansone is what we call a little engineering genius. The young man has already carried out around sixty various projects (robotic hands, super fast karts, etc.), but his latest achievement is undoubtedly the most spectacular of all. Sansone has indeed managed to design and then manufacture a prototype electric motor that does not require rare earths (only 3D printed plastic, copper wires and a steel rotor)! The use of rare earths being the big ecological black spot of electric motors for EVs, Sansone’s invention is necessarily all the more interesting.

As if this feat was not in itself impressive enough, this synchronous reluctance motor would also prove to be very efficient. Typically, synchronous reluctance motors aren’t good enough to consider in EV motor design (you’ll find them more in fans, for example) but the prototype Sansone developed truly breaks the mold with 39% average and 37% higher efficiency at 750 revolutions per minute (RPM). For comparison, the engine of a Tesla Model S can reach 18,000 rpm.

So it’s only a start, but an extremely promising start for the young engineer who should have no trouble finding a golden job with one of the current EV manufacturers… First, the invention by Robert Sansone won first prize at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international STEM competition for young people, which is already not so bad…

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