In response to China's government-mandated reduction of sales for rare-earth materials that are often used in electric and hybrid auto models, Toytoa, hybrid auto pioneer of the Toyota Prius family, has stated it has been working on a long-term approach to the problem, which includes developing induction-type electric motors. The Japanese automaker asserts it is in an "advanced stage" of development for these motors, which would undercut the need for rare materials like dysprosium and neodymium currently used in the 2012 Prius models. These materials are also currently used in electric and hybrid vehicles from other auto manufacturers for motor magnets.
Toyota reports that these new motors will be lighter and more efficient than the ones used currently. Permanent-magnet motors have been favored up to this point for most hybrid and some electric vehicles due to the fact that they are smaller and offer better torque density. Toyota will lead the way with new induction technologies with its 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV SUV, but this project is separate from the new induction-engine project that comes as a result of China's announcement. The automaker has also announced it's working on a magnesium-sulfur battery that will be capable of holding twice the energy as the currently-used lithium-ion cells. This new battery should be capable of storing four-thousand watt hours/liter of electricity.
Toyota always seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to producing new technologies that benefit the market as whole. The company is certainly innovative, as drivers can see when they test drive a new 2012 Toyota. Don't believe us? Stop by Rockingham Toyota and take a gander at the new models for yourself! Located at 354 Main Street Salem, New Hampshire 03079, we're easy to find.