Toyota developing new type of electric motor in an effort to escape dependency on rare earth metals

Toyota's not too pleased with the general scarcity of rare earth minerals and China's near-monopolistic grip on the world's supply, so it's decided to act before it's too late. A company spokesman has been cited as saying the Prius maker is hard at work on a new electric motor design that should dramatically reduce (though seemingly not eliminate) the need for rare earths in its production. Aside from being made of less price-volatile materials, the new electric ticker is expected to be generally cheaper to manufacture. Further details aren't yet available, but we hope this turns into a classic case of necessity breeding innovation -- that Prius C concept deserves a set of internals that can keep up with its bodacious exterior.