If Toyota Refuses to go Lithium-Ion ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: If Toyota Refuses to go Lithium-Ion

Monday, September 14, 2009

If Toyota Refuses to go Lithium-Ion

If Toyota refuses to go to lithium-ion battery packs, what will that mean for the battery industry?  The biggest hybrid car maker by far, Toyota makes up 3/4 of the hybrid market.  The Prius alone accounts for one out of every two hybrids sold.

And if Toyota is not sold on lithium-ion because of either price or durability, that's going to be hard on bringing the price of lithium-ion battery packs down.

At least, at first.  Other car makers are making the switch as they move to E-REV or plug-in hybrid technology.  And the Prius plug-ins are using lithium-ion battery packs.

So maybe, Toyota means to say, they won't be switching over for their 'conventional' hybrids.  But once you move into plug-in battery packs that require a lot more juice to get you where you're going, Toyota is using lithium-ion.

But if Toyota won't adopt lithium-ion for their already mass-marketed hybrids (especially the Prius), prices are going to take a lot longer to come down.  Which may be a good thing from Toyota's perspective.  If they feel the Volt is going to take center stage in the plug-in world, making sure the Volt price tag remains at twice the cost of a 'conventional' Prius is probably good strategy.

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