Shackleton investee, Advanced Electric Machines (AEM), a leader in sustainable motor manufacturing primarily for the automotive industry, has secured £23 million of new investment.

The funding will be used to scale up production capacity at its facility in the North East, deliver on ambitious growth plans to establish a global sales footprint, and bolster R&D capabilities.  AEM’s motors are used by Adgero, another of our portfolio companies, to convert commercial diesel trucks into hybrid electric vehicles.

The Series A funding round was led by Legal & General Capital and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with significant additional investment from Par Equity. Other investors included the Shackleton team, Northstar Ventures, the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 and Turquoise Capital LLP.

"We are in active conversations with (automaker) customers in Europe and beyond," James Widmer said. / Photo: Reuters Archive

AEM’s motor technologies remove the need for polluting rare earth metals in electric vehicle (EV) motors, the production and processing of which is concentrated in China. By eliminating rare earth permanent magnets, costs as well as reliance on geographically concentrated supply chains are reduced, and recyclability and environmental footprint of the motor is significantly improved.

AEM’s advanced technology will enable leading passenger and commercial electric vehicle manufacturers to reduce their environmental impact and dependence on critical supply chains, without compromising on quality and performance. Historically, engineers have struggled to match the performance of rare earth permanent magnet motors when attempting to develop alternatives. AEM’s technology overcomes these challenges, while reducing the environmental impact.

The investment will enable AEM to:

  • Scale up production capacity at its manufacturing facility in the North East, creating 40 new skilled green jobs in the next two years.
  • Establish a global sales and service footprint, accelerating the rollout of its innovative motor solutions. AEM’s HDSRM motor, designed for commercial vehicles, is already in production and in vehicles of customers across the UK, Europe, North America and APAC.
  • Accelerate the progress in the development of its SSRD motor for passenger vehicle segment. The SSRD has been developed with the support of Innovate UK, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and leading academic and automotive partners, including Bentley Motors.
  • Bolster R&D capabilities to bring its copper-free motor to production, which will further improve recyclability and move AEM closer to the goal of being the world’s most sustainable electric motor manufacturer.

Prof. James Widmer, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Electric Machines, said: “Today’s funding announcement clears our path to sustainable growth for years to come. It is a vote of confidence from the market in our vision, our technical capabilities and our mission to rid EV motors of harmful and problematic materials. Everyone at AEM and our new partners are excited for the role we are now able to play in making the electric vehicle sector truly sustainable.”