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Rare earth element free electric motor

Rare earths, so called not because they are rare but because production is limited to a few areas (China) and barriers to entry quite high, are a set of seventeen chemical elements used in electronics manufacture. Everything from magnets, lasers, batteries, lenses, and even self-cleaning ovens. With China undercutting prices most other mines around the world closed down in the 90s leading to a situation whereby supply or pricing could be volatile and constituting risk. Such a situation occurred in 2010 when China temporarily cut exports heavily impacting Japan.

The burgeoning electric car market which uses a considerable amount of these materials in batteries and motors is obviously susceptible to fluctuations and has been looking to mitigate risk, now Hitachi (日立) has come up with a motor that does not use rare earth materials for the magnetic component.

http://phys.org/news/2012-04-hitachi-unveils-motor-rare-earths.html
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