Rapid Gains in Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Spark Demand for Neodymium & Other Rare Earth Magnets

According to Global Magnets, a new study from The Freedonia Group, hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs) will constitute the fastest growing segment of the nearly $3 billion global automotive magnets market through 2023 – and, in fact, the most robust growth market in the worldwide magnet industry overall.

See the study page here: https://www.freedoniagroup.com/industry-study/global-magnets-W1001.htm

Increasing HEV Demand Boosts Rare Earths Magnets Sales

The rapid rise in demand for HEVs has been particularly beneficial to neodymium and other rare earth magnets, which are deployed in close to 90% of pure battery electric vehicle motors.

One factor that might temper demand is cost – electric vehicles in particular are more expensive than conventional automobiles, and currently their sales (and, consequently, their production) are heavily reliant on government-issued subsidies and other incentives. As some major global governments – including the US, China, and the UK – eliminate or drawdown these subsidies, it could negatively impact electric vehicle sales in the near term.

Will Global Tariffs Impact Rare Earths Magnet Supply?

The Trump administration’s trade war with China may also prove damaging to short-term growth in this category, as China looks to restrict supply of rare earths products – a segment in which it is by far the dominant global refiner – in retribution for damaging tariffs on Chinese imports.

While the outlook is still uncertain, some believe that the US would not be significantly impacted by this restriction over the long-term, citing the rare earths capacities of countries like Australia, Myanmar, India, Vietnam, and Brazil. But others aren't convinced, as refining predominantly occurs in China and has significant negative environmental impact – impact that many countries might not be willing to absorb.

A few firms are taking experimental steps now to subvert China’s rare earths stranglehold. In May 2019, Australian rare earths mining company Lynas partnered with Blue Line, a US chemical producer, to jointly build a refining facility for medium and heavy rare-earths. Though the site will likely take years to begin operating, it could eventually provide a template for other producers outside of China to follow.

Interested in More Magnet Analysis?

The Freedonia Group study Global Magnets offers a comprehensive view of the global magnet industry, providing data analysis of historical demand trends and forecasts through 2023, broken out by product, market, and global region, as well as major national market. The study also includes in-depth profiles of industry leaders, featuring market share by company and major corporate developments.