Toyota is looking to apply its hybrid technology to lift trucks, where the current market trend is moving away from internal combustion engines. The alternative to IC engines, of course, is battery power, which requires frequent swaps of heavy,  dangerous, and expensive lead-acid batteries. Those same batteries also degrade when subjected to deep discharges, so I can see where the ability to "top off" the pack with a quick charge from an IC engine might greatly increase productivity and pack longevity. The lift truck industry is viewed as a potential adaptor for fuel-cell technology, so we might be seeing a transfer of technology back in the other direction before too long. Automakers such as Nissan, Mistubishi, Hyundai, and GM are also in the lift truck industry, so some cross-pollination between autos and forklifts should come as little surprise. [Hat tip: Prius Owners Group]


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