Hyundai Motor plans to secure rare earth metals used in electric and hybrid cars as the industry acts over a possible shortage of the minerals.
Rare earth metals like neodymium are used in the powerful magnets in motors that are a key component for electric and hybrid cars. China produces 97% of the world’s rare earth metals, but Beijing set 2010 export quotas 40% lower than 2009 levels, raising alarm among buyer nations, the Korea Herald reported.
Hyundai Motor, the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker along with Kia Motors, proposed in a regulatory filing on Friday a change in its articles of incorporation to “secure resources for the development of eco-friendly vehicles”, the paper said. The proposal is subject to approval at a shareholder’s meeting on 11 March.
“We will make efforts to vigorously secure rare earths and other rare resources used in cars,” a spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor launched a hybrid version of its Sonata sedan in the United States in January, which was its first overseas hybrid model. Affiliate Kia plans a hybrid Optima sedan for that market in the first half.
Hyundai plans to mass produce pure electric vehicles next year after a test run of its BlueOn cars this year, according to group vice chairman Lee Hyun-soon.