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Electric and hybrid cars
Electric and hybrid cars
Type of technology: Electric car battery
Rare earth(s) used: cerium, lanthanum

The green revolution will be battery-powered. That means that rare earths will be key, since certain electric car batteries require rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium. The two elements are also used in the motor and breaking system for green vehicles.

Aside from building green cars in the future, rare earths help make cars already on the road, including hybrid cars, burn cleaner. Catalytic converters on cars have a coating that contains rare earth elements cerium and lanthanum. Cerium and lanthanum drive the chemical reaction that changes car pollution to non-toxic compounds.

NEXT: Consumer gadgets
Last updated October 28 2010: 9:11 AM ET
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