Toyota has developed a magnet for use in high-output motors found in electrified vehicles, the use of which is expected to increase rapidly in the future. It is notable for using significantly less neodymium, a rare-earth element, and can be used in high-temperature conditions. This new type of magnet is hopeful to expand the use of motors in various areas such as automobiles and robotics, as well as maintaining a balance between the supply and demand of valuable rare earth resources.
In the development, Toyota reduced the amount of neodymium used in the magnet and replaced it with lanthanum and cerium, which are low-cost rare earths, while claiming to prevent the decline in motor performance.
The company said it utilized new technologies to suppress the deterioration of coercivity and heat resistance and developed a magnet that has equivalent levels of heat resistance as earlier neodymium magnets, while reducing the amount of neodymium used by up to 50 percent.
Toyota expects that the magnets will be put to use in the motors of electric power steering for automobiles and other applications in the first half of the 2020s. Furthermore, the company will undertake development with the aim of practical application in high-performance electrified vehicle drive motors within the next 10 years.