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Toyota Working to Beat Rare-Earth Supply Barriers
Rare earth metals, nearly 98% of which are sourced in China, are becoming a hot topic amongst electric vehicle manufacturers - especially hybrids - because of the monopoly that China holds on this resource. This supply bottleneck could become a serious issue as electric vehicles take larger and larger shares of the market.
Toyota is working to get around that obstacle by building electric motors for cars that do not require rare earth metals at all.
Most hybrids and electric vehicles use permanent (fixed) magnet motors which are reinforced with rare earth metals to make them sturdier. Toyota is working on an induction-type motor for all-electric cars that will not require this rare-earth bolster.
Toyota claims that their current generation of these induction motors are both more efficient and more compact than are current fixed-magnet motors.
And so ...Toyota is hedging its bets by funding exploration for rare earth metals in India as well.
Photo credits: Bloomberg
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