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Even before its first production vehicle ships with a lithium ion battery, Toyota is already making plans for the next wave of energy storage technology. We expect to see Toyota and Lexus products with lithium ion packs sometime around 2010, and Toyota is said to believe that the technology will last about twenty years. Therefore, a replacement will be needed around 2030. For this reason, Toyota has set up a new team of fifty people this month to begin working on the next-next generation of electric power, which could use chemical batteries, capacitors or some combination of the two.
Whatever the next technology for energy storage turns out to be, Toyota doesn't want to be caught off guard. Considering that battery supply is already one limiting factor when it comes to how many hybrid vehicles the Japanese giant can produce, we are hardly shocked that Toyota has plans to stay on the cutting edge in battery technology.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 9 Comments
      • 6 Months Ago
      "This is the one thing I've always admired about the Japanese's compinies, they typically think long term strategy.

      on the other hand corporate America is only interested in short and some times mid term profits, very rarely does corporate America concern its self whit long term success and goals."

      You've got to be kidding me - all automakers (yes, even the US ones) have advanced R&D budgets and staffs. Technology advancement and change is expensive and many different technologies must be investigated in order to determine what is appropriate. If the Japanese are so advanced and forward thinking, why did Toyota and Nissan just spend billions of dollars to develop and manufacture new full size pickups and SUV's that don't achieve the fuel economy of GM's and introduced them just when the pickup and SUV markets collapsed?
      • 6 Months Ago
      "but it is hard to beat lithium" -- Chris M

      For energy storage/weight, yes. Due to some fundamentals of chemistry and physics, it is unlikely that anything will beat lithium there. However, potassium or sodium might be able to compete on price and availability. Especially sodium; It is one of the most abundant metals on Earth.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There are several possibilities, including several different metal/air batteries, but it is hard to beat lithium. With a very low molecular weight (exceeded only by hydrogen and helium) and high electronegativity, it has long been considered the ultimate battery electrode material. Future possibilities include lithium cloride, lithium sulphur, and lithium/air. A lithium/air EV battery pack, if perfected, might outdo gasoline in size, weight and range.
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is the one thing I've always admired about the Japanese's compinies, they typically think long term strategy.

      on the other hand corporate America is only interested in short and some times mid term profits, very rarely does corporate America concern its self whit long term success and goals.
      • 6 Months Ago
      @ bruce

      Toyota and Lexus, and I guess also Honda have a recycling policy on these batteries. All hazardous materials are reused for new batteries, as far as possible.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nah, then you'd have to worry about terrorists always trying to steal your car
      • 6 Months Ago
      what is the most common plan auto companies offer for recycling or disposing of hybrid and electric only vehicle battery packs?

      are the disposed of batteries, such as the litium ion based units, hazardous to the enviornment?

      are they energy efficient to recycle?

      bruce
      • 6 Months Ago
      Bruce, the auto industry products are more recycled than any other large industry that I know of. 85-99% for many vehicles.

      Have you tried TRULY recycling the computer that you wrote your blog comment with. Do you know where computers ACTUALLY end up?

      The computer industry talks about recycling and the auto industry does it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about a plutonium-powered flux capacitor?