Toyota has made a key electric-vehicle component that uses smaller amounts of certain materials that are either expensive or are found in politically risky countries.
The Japanese carmaker has designed a new kind of magnet that cuts its use of rare-earth elements by about half. The new magnet does not use the expensive rare-earth elements terbium and dysprosium and uses less of the increasingly popular element neodymium.
The new design could both lower the cost of producing electric batteries and reduce dependency on rare-earth elements, a market essentially controlled by China.
The new magnet is expected to have uses in high-output motors on electrified vehicles, electric power steering, robots and household appliances, Toyota said. The company plans to include the magnets in electric power-steering motors by the end of 2025.