Rare earths still needed for many years
Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) and Hokkaido University have developed a new electric motor that uses ferrite magnets, rather than magnets using neodymium and dysprosium – rare earths imported from China.
While weaker, through a unique magnet placement, Japanese researchers have been able to match rare earth magnet attraction.
More important, ferrite magnets cost “only one 20th” the price of rare earth magnets.
Still, it will take “years” before such magnets are commercially available.