Honda Reveals the First Hybrid Motor without Heavy Rare Earth Metals
Cernescu Andrei / 2 years ago
About ten years ago, Honda promised to minimize the use of rare earth metals in its engines, and it would seem that the company is finally planning to make good on that promise by unveiling the world’s first hybrid motor that doesn’t include these metals. The motor in question was co-developed with the help of Daido Steel, which is another company based in Japan, and it doesn’t use any dysprosium and terbium, which is a pretty big deal. Actually, the motor relies on a series of magnets created by Daido Steel, which are not only 8 percent lighter but cost 10 percent less when compared to other components.
It’s also worth mentioning that Honda is the world’s first automaker to develop such a motor, and since most of these rare earth metals are provided by China, it actually boosts the brand’s independence by a certain degree. The engine will be installed on the compact Freed minivan that will retail in Asia starting this fall. Apart from saving money, this new manufacturing technique will also reduce the risk of price fluctuations in the future. That being said, the motors are not entirely rare earth metal-free, as they still incorporate neodymium, which can be sourced from North America, China, and Australia.