Toyota plans to boost lithium ion batteries production, as it wants to use them in the flagship Prius sedan.
The Toyota model which use the lithium-ion batteries are the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the RAV4 EV and the European Prius+. The automaker plans to increase production of the lithium ion batteries sixfold and according to Nikkei newspaper, the automaker and its production partner Panasonic aim at building a production line with a capacity of 20,000 units annually. The two companies will invest $194 million for this project.
More and more automakers prefer lithium-ion batteries over the Nickel metal hybride (NiMH), because they are lighter, smaller and more energy dense, but they also cost more.
At the beginning of this year Toyota and BMW joined forces to develop next-generation batteries for EVs called ‘lithium-air’, a partnership announced at the end of 2011. Toyota and BMW plan to complete a concept for a mid-size sports car by the end of 2013 and a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020. The lithium-air battery will allow a major part of the energy-making process to come from the oxygen in air and will also be more powerful than the existing lithium-ion batteries.