Toyota plans 3 battery plants for hybrid vehicles

Nissan isn't the only Japanese auto manufacturer with big plans for batteries. Toyota will open two new battery plants in Japan and expand a third for the production of nickel metal hydride and lithium ion batteries. All of Toyota's current hybrid vehicles use the older nickel-based battery chemistry. The lithium ion batteries produced at the new plant will likely be scheduled for next-gen hybrids like the upcoming Lexus version of the third-generation Prius sedan. The total investment from Toyota will be ¥20 billion, or $192.3 million. These new plants are expected to support Toyota's ambitious goal to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year within the next decade. Currently, the Japanese giant is the global leader in hybrid sales, selling 429,000 of the gasoline/ electric vehicles in 2007. The three plants will have the capacity to produce a million packs by the year 2011, which lines up quite nicely with Toyota's plans. Thanks to Joseph for the tip.

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

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