Panasonic corporation announced on Tuesday it would supply lithium ion batteries for Toyota’s latest eco-friendly model, the Prius PHV Plug-In vehicle, launched in Japan the same day.
The announcement marks the first time for Panasonic to supply its lithium-ion batteries for a mass production plug-in-hybrid vehicle. Panasonic bought out Sanyo, a big player in rechargeable batteries, in a bid to shift its focus from consumer electronics to energy and environmental technology.
The new Toyota Prius PHV Plug-In hybrid is equipped with a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is expected to significantly improve EV driving performance. When fully charged, the new high-capacity lithium-ion battery offers the Prius PHV a cruising range of 26.4 kilometers in EV mode. The vehicle’s electric power consumption rate is 8.74 km/kWh*1.
The Prius PHV Plug-In Hybrid vehicle is also equipped with a high-efficiency on-board charger capable of charging to full in approximately 90 minutes at AC 200 V (180 minutes at AC 100 V). Toyota, the pioneer of gasoline-electric hybrid cars, announced it aims to sell 35,000 to 40,000 of the Prius PHV cars annually in Japan, where deliveries will begin on January 30.