Assuming that lithium-based batteries continues to be the chosen technology of choice for future hybrids and electric vehicles, the world's vast supplies of the metal are going to be in demand. As such, it's decidedly unsurprising to hear that Toyota (via Toyota Tsusho Corp., a trading house 22 percent-owned by the automaker) has inked a deal with Australian-based Orocobre Ltd. in Argentina to secure a large source of lithium.

The deal would give Toyota a 25-percent stake in the Salar de Olaroz project in Argentina with Orocobre operating the venture and keeping the remaining 75 percent. Other large supplies of lithium can be found in Bolivia, Chile, China and Brazil.

Currently, Toyota, the World's Undisputed Hybrid Leader, chooses to use nickel metal hydride batteries in its hybrid vehicles, but that's likely to change in short order as the Japanese automaker looks to keep its foothold on battery-augmented and -powered vehicles.

[Source: Reuters]

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