Toyotas senior vice president of the company's North American operations has been quoted saying plug-in vehicles may be here sooner than they thought. Back in March, Toyota was predicting plug-ins in 10 years. Now they hope to have them even sooner.
A plug-in hybrid requires more battery usage and the battery is more likely to fail sooner than in hybrids. With hybrids, the battery is kept in a 'safer' medium zone which helps the battery last longer. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) run on the battery alone longer and drain the battery farther. They also get fully charged overnight. Since rechargeable batteries can be very expensive to replace, carmakers are unwilling to produce a vehicle in which the battery won't last long.
Toyota has new hope for hybrid batteries
On Thursday, however, Cuneo said the automaker is now more hopeful that the batteries could be ready soon. Speaking at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the Galt House, he said Toyota believes it could have a plug-in hybrid on the road much sooner...
Toyota executive engineer Dave Hermance said ... Lithium-ion batteries are the likely successor, but so far, reliable ones have not been available in the sizes needed.
In March, Hermance said lithium-ion technology could be as many as 10 years away.