Rare Earths Elimination in Electric Motors by Toyota

A Wall Street Journal article (January 14,2011) describes imminent breakthroughs announced by Toyota in eliminating use of rare earth metals in electric motors for hybrids.  This is a response to earlier reports claiming decreased exports of rare earths by China in the future – to reserve the material for domestic manfacturers. The materials listed include neodymium and lithium – China is a world source for both metals.  This impact on demand may well solve the supply demand problem – while decreasing costs at the same time.  Should we expect innovation to resolve the current 400 % increase in prices ?  Will such potential adjustments deter unilateral attempts to starve supplies ?

Advertisements

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s