A research team led by Akira Chiba of Tokyo Institute of Technology developed a new rare-earth-free motor for hybrid vehicles. Powerful motors exclusively for hybrid vehicles need rare earths like neodymium for their permanent magnets. Because it is hard to establish stable procurement of rare earths, technology to reduce the consumption of rare earths has been strongly desired.
Prof. Chiba and his research members improved materials of the magnet core and their arrangements. They successfully increased the output by about 60%. The new motor has an output of 100 kW and more torque as compared with a motor of the same size that has an output of 60 kW. Several companies including Hitachi already developed rare-earth-free motors for industrial purposes, but no rare-earth-free motor is currently available for hybrid vehicles. The research team plans to put the motor into practical use in alliance with partner companies of the joint research.
A rare-earth-free magnet motor