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Auto component maker Sona Comstar on Thursday said it has joined hands with Israel's IRP Nexus Group (IRP) to initiate a project to co-develop a new electric motor that would avoid usage of rare earth elements. The companies have come together with iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology) to develop, manufacture and market the new electric motor globally.

As per the agreement inked between the entities, IRP will license its technology to Sona Comstar for manufacturing the system exclusively in India, expecting to start mass production in 2023.

The project would look at creating an innovative motor-plus-controller combination that does not use rare earth elements like neodymium, besides offering high efficiency and low cost to manufacturers of electric two and three-wheelers.

"Our technology ensures not only cleaner air but also a more environment-friendly production process and responsible use of natural resources. We are excited to partner with a global, leading player such as Sona Comstar to bring the product to the mass market," IRP Systems Co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer Moran Price said in a statement.

Commenting on the initiative, Sona Comstar CTO Kiran Deshmukh noted that the partnership with IRP would help India reduce its dependence on imports of critical raw materials.

"The system developed through this partnership will be environmentally compatible and cost-effective, ensuring the security of natural resources by avoiding the use of rare earth elements, he added.

Inspired by the Atmanirbhar Bharat philosophy, iCreate programme has initiated the project with the objective of Indian companies creating and owning futuristic technology, going beyond merely licensing and manufacturing.

The project entails Sona Comstar and IRP collaborating to conceive, design, prototype, and manufacture high efficiency, low-cost, magnet-less powertrain for electric two and three-wheelers for the global market.

Supported by Gujarat and the Central governments, iCreate is the country's leading institution for transforming tech innovation-based start-ups into successful businesses.

IRP Systems produces electric powertrain systems for a variety of e-mobility platforms, enabling powerful and affordable electric vehicles. Sona Comstar manufactures various components like differential assemblies, differential gears, conventional and micro-hybrid starter motors and has nine plants spread across India, China, Mexico, and the US.