Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it has developed a high-efficiency industrial motor without using rare earth metals and is aiming to commercialize the product in the business year starting in April 2014.
The motor, for use in pumps and fans in factories and tunnels, adopts amorphous metals and is as efficient as motors using rare earths such as neodymium, Hitachi said.
“The prices of rare earth metals have been soaring in recent years,” Hitachi Research Laboratory senior researcher Yuji Enomoto said at a Tokyo news conference. “We are facing the urgent need to not use rare earth metals.”
Though prices of rare earths have been declining recently, they remain high, he said.
The company said it plans to adopt the technology to develop motors for other uses such as automobiles and home appliances in the future.