Toyota develops new motor for hybrids, EVs

Automotive News reports on a new, inexpensive electric motor being developed by Toyota.

LOS ANGELES--Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest seller of hybrid cars and light trucks, is developing an alternative motor for future hybrid and electric cars that doesn't need rare-earth minerals.

The motor could help cut Toyota's dependence on rare-earth materials from China, which controls more than 90 percent of the global market for the metals. Rare-earth minerals are generally soft, malleable metallic chemical elements that are used in hybrid vehicles.

Toyota engineers in Japan and the United States are working on a so-called inductive motor that's lighter and more efficient than the magnet-type motor now used in the Prius, said John Hanson, a company spokesman. Research is at an "advanced stage," he said, without saying when vehicles with the motors may be sold.

China's government cut export quotas of rare-earth minerals for the first half of 2011 by 35 percent last month. That follows a 72 percent reduction in the second half of 2010, causing the price of some of the metals to more than double.

(Source: Automotive News)

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Want affordable gadgets for your student?

Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!