The market for rare earth elements (REEs) is set to grow significantly in the coming years. Many research reports are forecasting global demand for these elements to double by 2020. The growth wave is coming from clean energy applications such as wind power. However, the electric vehicle revolution is the largest emerging market for these products. Palos believes that this is a significant change that should not be ignored.
The REEs are primarily refined into two elements neodymium and praseodymium, also known as NdPr. The NdPr is then shipped in oxide form and used to make the lightweight neodymium-iron-boron also known as NdFeB. The NdFeB is the magic ingredient necessary to make permanent magnets inside high-efficiency motors and turbines. Many auto makers like Tesla are using permanent magnet motors because they are lighter, stronger and more efficient. For example, the Tesla Model 3 long range model, probably the most famous EV vehicle on the market, uses permanent magnet.