Japanese car manufacturer Honda Motor together with Daido Steel has developed the first ever engine for hybrid cars without using dysprosium and terbium — two scarce rare earth elements — to help reduce manufacturing costs, an official said on Wednesday.
The two companies have made sure that the neodymium magnet — presenting the highest magnetic force of nature which is essential for electric cars and hybrids — of this engine does not require the use of these two minerals, which were used to withstand high temperatures, EFE news reported.
Both dysprosium and terbium, like neodymium are classified as rare earth elements, although the latter is almost as common as nickel or cobalt.
In contrast, dysprosium and terbium were far more scarce and most of it comes from China, which sometimes restricts exports, putting price stability and supply at risk.
Honda has modified the engine design to incorporate this new magnet and has proven that the “torque, output and heat resistance performance (is) equivalent to those of a motor that uses the conventional type of magnet,” Honda said.