Magnets will be used in a new motor which debuts this fall.
Honda and Daido Steel have teamed up to develop the world’s first practical application of a hot deformed neodymium magnet which does not contain rare earth metals.
The statement doesn't exactly roll off your tongue but the meaning behind it is pretty important. As Honda explains, neodymium magnets must have heat resistant properties for automotive use and this is typically achieved by adding heavy rare earth metals such as dysprosium and / or terbium. However, supplies of these materials are limited and their demand is expected to grow exponentially in the future.
To get around these problems, Honda and Daido Steel have come up with a new hot deformation technique which doesn't require the use of heavy rare earth metals and still gives the magnets heat resistant properties.
To take advantage of the breakthrough, Honda has developed a new motor which can accommodate the magnets. The company was coy on specifics but confirmed the motor will be installed in the company's Sport Hybrid i-DCD hybrid system which will debut in the Honda Freed. The model will go on sale this fall so expect to learn more about it in the coming months.