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.