Menu
Honda's new motor for hybrid cars is a very big deal

Honda's new motor for hybrid cars is a very big deal

The motor is a technological and geopolitical step forward

Honda Motor has developed the world's first electric motor for hybrid cars that doesn't use heavy rare earth metals -- a major step forward in development of motors that are free from the political whims of the Chinese government.

Rare earth metals are important for the production of many high-tech devices, including smartphones and the magnets in motors. About 80 percent of the global supply of these metals comes from China, and in the past, the country has restricted access to some of them for political reasons.

In 2010, for example, it blocked exports to Japan for two months over a territorial dispute. That incident that prompted Japanese companies like Honda to start working to reduce their reliance on rare earth metals.

So the motor announced on Tuesday is a big deal, not just in terms of technology but of geopolitics, too.

1468288821826 Honda

A rotor for the Honda i-DCD drive motor that's made without the use of rare earth metals.

Traditionally, the neodymium magnets used in hybrid and electric car motors included one or both of the rare earth metals dysprosium and terbium. They were added to ensure very high heat resistance.

But Daido Steel, a Japanese steel maker, came up with an alternative production method that produces a magnet with even greater heat resistance properties without requiring the rare earth metals.

Honda worked with Daido Steel on perfecting the magnet and designed a new motor for use in hybrid vehicles. Daido Steel will begin mass production of the motor in August, and Honda plans to use it in the "Freed," a new minivan the company will launch in Japan later this year.

Honda said it plans to use the motor in new car models moving forward.

Read more: Subaru Liberty 3.6R 2016 review
Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags automotive IT

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments