Mazda issued a press release last week, stating that it has developed a way to reduce the amount of precious metal needed in catalytic converters. The technology will be employed on the upcoming 2010 Mazda3, and Mazda will progressively apply it to all its global markets.
Called single-nanocatalyst, the technology requires 70 percent less precious metal in its application on the 2010 Mazda3 compared to the outgoing model. Mazda says the new cayalyst "will enable very efficient purifications with minimal deterioration over time even under the harshest operating conditions." In Japan, the Mazda3 is a Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (SU-LEV)
Thieves have been known to steal catalytic converters and sell them to metal recyclers. Because catalytic converters require precious metals such as gold and platinum to operate, they can be worth a hefty chunk of change. Mazda did not announce plans to share the technology with other auto manufacturers.