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Toyota has helped install an array of 208 repurposed nickel-metal hydride batteries from Camry Hybrids to power the Lamar Buffalo Ranch at Yellowstone National Park. The system can store 85 kilowatt-hours of energy at a time.

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Energy Density May Rise By Factor Of 10

Nickel-hydride batteries ripe for more adoption as BASF studies ways to boost energy density.

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Toyota has never been a big fan of lithium ion batteries, and has a plan in place to replace them with solid-state batteries that are three-to-four times more powerful. Toyota will commercialize solid-state batteries around 2020 and lithium air batteries – which offer a fivefold increase for the same weight – could follow several years later, said Shigeki Suzuki, managing officer for material engineering. Suzuki didn't offer details on a rollout plan or vehicle volumes.

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How's this for a "willing buyer"? Toyota is going to recycle nickel-metal hydride batteries from old hybrids into energy management systems and will then sell those systems to Toyota dealerships in Japan.

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Why Not Improve The Cheap Chemistry?

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For the third-generation hybrid system powering the Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid, Ford expects to be using about 500,000 pounds a year less of expensive and uncommon rare earth metals. Reduction of rare earth metals in the lithium-ion batteries and the hybrid system's electric machines lowers vehicle costs as Ford ramps up its production of hybrids and electric vehicles over the next years, allowing the automaker to offer more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle choices to customers. Of course,

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The supply of rare earth metals used in the manufacture of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and permanent magnet motors that are found in most hybrids has been somewhat uncertain the past few years, what with China's lock on the supply and its recent policy of limiting exports. While there are a number of possible solutions and workarounds, Honda is tackling the problem using an approach we can heartily endorse: recycling.

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2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Peugeot 3008 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Sanyo is one of the biggest suppliers of nickel metal hydride batteries for hybrid vehicles, along with Panasonic EV energy. Currently, Sanyo's primary customers are Honda and Ford, but the company also has deals with Volkswagen and Audi for future products from Germany. Ford's ability to sell hybrid vehicles has, in part, been constrained by limited supplies of major components like transmissions and batteries. That situation may soon change, since Sanyo has decided to increase its production o

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Electric cars have been with us since the very beginning of the automobile age and from that time until now, its most important component has been the battery. It stores energy chemically until it is needed to create the electricity that powers a vehicle's motor. There have been different types of batteries over the years but none have had the practicality or popularity of the very first rechargeable one, the lead-acid battery.

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Following the report earlier this week about Mercedes-Benz filing a lawsuit against Cobasys regarding its battery contract for the upcoming ML450 Two-Mode hybrid we contact Mercedes for a comment. Mercedes indicated in the suit that lack of funding for Cobasys from its owners (Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices) was threatening the launch of the program. Spokesperson Donna Boland replied that "court filings usually contain the worst case scenario. At this point in time, we're still planning

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var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/environment/Chevron_subsidiary_cancels_contract_for_hybrid_batteries'; Plans for Mercedes to release the ML 450 hybrid in 2009 may very well be canceled. The maker of the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries that was to provide the energy storage component for the SUV, Cobasys, seems to be refusing to begin production of the essential part. It appears the company's parent firms, Chevron (who just posted a $5.98 billion 2nd quarter profit) and Energy Conversion

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Audi's first mass-production hybrid model was to have been the Q7 SUV beginning in early 2009. As Audi officials told ABG back in April, that program has been effectively canceled. Audi had been working on the development with VW and Porsche, whose Touareg and Cayenne share their platforms with the Q7. Audi R&D Boss Michael Dick has confirmed to Autocar that development of hybrids with nickel metal hydride batteries has been put on hold. Instead, the company will focus on lithium battery hyb

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One of the best parts about being a member of the Autoblog team, besides all the chicks and autograph requests, is driving some of the best vehicles in the world and writing about it here. When it comes to hybrids, though, we tend to leave the heavy lifting to our brethren over at AutoblogGreen, and our eco-conscious friends never let us down. Gang green got their hands on a 2008 Chevy Tahoe Two-Mode Hybrid, and they knocked the review right out of the park. Hit the link below to see how a Tahoe

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While many other car-makers (with the notable exception of Toyota) are jumping on the lithium ion bandwagon for new hybrid models, Honda will stick with nickel metal hydride for now. Honda President Takeo Fukui told Automotive News that lithium ion batteries are not yet reliable or durable enough for high volume applications. When Honda debuts a new dedicated hybrid model early next year to take on the Prius, it will continue to use nickel metal hydride batteries.

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This week, Sam brings back two interviews - one with Ford's Scott Staley about what's going on in Hybrid land, which is then balanced by a conversation with John Lapetz that pulls back the curtain on the hydrogen research that's been going on in Dearborn. Also touched on are the Chevy Volt and the EFlex architecture itself, set to go into series production in 2010. Things move from the EFlex to the challenge of bringing Li-Ion batteries to market. Ford also announced that there will be an experi

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Click on the photo for a high-res gallery of the Toyota Hybrid-X concept

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ECD Ovonics, a pioneer in nickel metal hydride battery technology has agreed to license some of their patents to G4 Synergetics. G4 will pay royalties to Ovonics in order to build NiMH batteries consumer applications and potentially also Chinese scooter and bicycle applications. They won't be allowed to make batteries for any automotive or other transport uses.

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