Nissan was one of the first companies to successfully produce and market an electric car to the masses. By doing so, the Nissan LEAF, which was introduced in the United States in December 2010, has been able to bring home several accolades that speak to its innovative ways, including the “2010 Green Car Vision Award,” the “2011 European Car of the Year,” the “2011 World Car of the Year,” and the “2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan.”
Now, Nissan is upping the ante on their green initiatives once again by cutting its use of the rare-earth mineral dysprosium in the LEAF’s engine by 40% without affecting performance. In fact, if anything, drivers should actually feel increased performance in their LEAF. Dysprosium is used in the electric motor magnets to help increase their resistance to heat. However, a new process called “grain boundary diffusion” allows Nissan to drastically cut back on its use of the rare-earth mineral.
As if this isn’t impressive-enough news, Nissan also announced that they will be creating 15 new hybrid vehicles over the next four years. Nissan has always been one of the most innovative companies we know of, and with commitments like that it’s easy to see why.