Japan's Nissan Motor and Waseda University have developed a way to efficiently recycle rare earths from automobile motors. The minerals are an important part of the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Nissan says the method involves melting a whole motor at a temperature of at least 1,400 degrees Celsius. No manual disassembly is necessary.
The automaker says it has succeeded in recovering 98 percent of the rare earths from waste motors. This has brought reductions in recycling cost and time.
Nissan says it is the first such technology in the world, and it aims for practical application by the mid-2020s.
Rare earths are key for making magnets for motors. China's dominance of the market for the materials and rising prices have been a challenge for carmakers.
Nissan also plans to develop a new motor that doesn't contain rare earths.
Toyota and Honda are pursuing technologies that enable them to use less of the materials.