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Toyota and French electric utility EDF (Electricite de France) will team up next week to develop recharging stations according to the Financial Times. The agreement is "to develop electricity infrastructure to serve the plug-in cars Toyota plans to roll out in a few years' time." The deal could include several countries as EDF owns utilities in German, Italy and Britain.
Recently, Toyota showed off a plug-in Prius they are road testing in Japan. Ford also started plug-in trials with a California power company. GM plans to be the first to market with a plug-in, releasing a model next year. GM has also announced the E-Flex platform, which is a plug-in model.

This is not the first time we have written about EDF. They have a connection to a company that makes batteries for electric cars. Toyota may just have a battery deal as well. Stay tuned. We are sure to stay on top of this one.

[Source: Financial Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota has established itself as the world leader for quick-turnaround auto design, so it's unlikely that GM will get there first.

      Given that GM owes far more money than it can pay even with double its current sales, I think it highly likely GM won't even be in the running much longer. Unless, of course, they can get a big government bailout, at the taxpayers' feed trough.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like Mr. Beauchert is worried that some other manufacturer might just trump his beloved GM, and be first to market with a successful plug-in hybrid.

      Ford may not plan to sell a "plug-in" for 5 or more years, but they are indeed under development, as the "HyFlex" design incorporated in their recently displayed Airstream Concept shows.

      Nice to see plans underway for plug-in charging stations in Europe. I'd like to see a uniform standard for connections applied worldwide, hopefully with a design cheap enough to supply many parking slots with chargers. Some cooperation with Tesla Motors and other auto companies is called for, in order to set such standards.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If this deal turns out to really be for batteries, then they would likely be the lithium polymer batteries built by batscap: http://www.batscap.com/la-batterie-lithium-metal-polymere/technologie.php

      Their modules apparently already incorporate thermal and electrical control systems, and have a gross specific energy of 110 Wh/kg. If the cells are truly safe and economical, then they might be what Toyota needs to answer GM and A123. Provided no additional control systems are needed, once could build a 40 mile range pack weighing 320 pounds.

      Some concerns though:

      The cathode is made of vanadium oxide, which is highly toxic. LiFePO4 cells, by contrast, are not, and some chemistries (e.g. Valence's) are landfill-approved.

      Economically, vanadium is used in the steel industry - just like cobalt, the traditional oxide of choice for cathodes. So I'm not sure how much of an advantage this chemistry would have against volatile prices. Fortunately, a lot of the world's vanadium seems to be mined in Australia, which is an economic ally.

      Also, what will be the ramifications of Toyota ditching Panasonic as their choice battery supplier? Will they still be able to use Panasonic's NiMH batteries for the regular Prius model, assuming they still manufacture it?

      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish folks would stop claiming that Ford is developing a plug-in. They are not , as confirmed by CEO Mulally two weeks ago - he didn't see a Ford plug-in for 5 or 10 years down the road. This really sucks - some automaker sends a cobbled up plug-in to some other company or quote "testing"
      (what, they don't understand the plug-in concept?)
      and immediately the clueless media reports they are developing a plug-in, just, I suspect, as the automaker figured they would all along. This has now happened so many times I'm starting to believe
      in a conspiracy amongst the media to deceive. They can't really be that stupid, now can they?