Grape's general idea is that cars will use electricity more, almost to the point that he believes most cars will have batteries to store energy for motion purposes. What's interesting is that he mentions power and smoothness as the key reason why customers will choose these powertrains, even if motorists have to plug-in the vehicle at home.
Speaking about Toyota, Grape said that the marque's interest in plug-in hybrids and lithium shows that it's one of the ways for the automotive industry to grow. But he mentions this as an opportunity for more manufacturers and forecasts that the U.S. will be the world's largest lithium-ion battery producer in the world.
The interview then moves into why lithium-ion is "the holy grail" of batteries, advantages most of our readers surely know, such a smaller size, higher energy density and lighter weight. Of course, the current state of these technologies is that they are expensive, so Grape says he hopes that widespread use will lower the price, and that new chemical formulations will improve safety.
- Ener1 chairman says lithium-ion batteries coming to market in 2008
- EVS23: Enerdel's "end-to-end" lithium solution for hybrids
- Ener1 first to integrate lithium-ion battery into HEV (explains the difference between HEV and PHEV batteries to me)