The Honda Motor company has created an engine that has been made without rare earth metals and will be used in the companies new hybrid vehicles. Honda was looking for an answer to the high costs and the uncertainty of the supply of rare earth metals such as dysprosium or terbium. This allows the Japanese motor company to save money and not have to worry about the supply of the sparsely distributed metals.
The new motor was developed by Honda and the Japanese metal supplier Daido Steel Co. The motor uses a hot deformation method to create the magnets unlike the old approach that used the traditional sintering method. With the new process the magnet’s microscopic crystals align in a much more refined structure with greater heat resistance, thus nullifying the need for heavy rare-earth metals.
The drawback is that the new technology will have limited use in electric vehicles due to them operating at higher heat temperatures meaning electric vehicles will still depend on heavy rare-earth metals. The new magnets will start being mass produced in August by Daido Electronics Co.