As you may know already, hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius use expensive rear earth metals, a domain where China has a near monopoly but it appears that these things are about to change as Toyota says that is has developed a way to make hybrid and electric vehicles without the use of those metals.
And the good news continue as the Japanese manufacturer could bring this technology to the market within two years if the price of rare earths does not come down.
For those who don’t know, rare earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium are used in the powerful magnets in motors that power hybrid and electric cars and the price of these metals is expected to rise as mode hybrid cars hit the market. The bad news is that China produces more than 95 percent of the world's rare earth metals, and these things need to change.
And the bad news continue as China wants to limit exports citing resource depletion and environmental degradation and as a result prices surged even more. Japan is the country that accounts for a third of global rare earth demand, but it aims to cut consumption and provide subsidies for recycling.