Toyota says it could build battery electric vehicles now that it's comfortable with its lithium-ion technology. Until now, it has appeared that Toyota is betting on fuel cell technology over BEVs, while using nickel-metal hydride batteries in its hybrids. Now, engineers are satisfied with their ability to build energy dense (read: smaller), safe, and affordable lithium-ion batteries. "Developing lithium-ion batteries for both hybrids and plug-ins will enable us to also produce all-electric cars in the future," says Prius chief engineer Koji Toyoshima. Note the use of the word "will." Read more from Reuters.

The BMW i5 is rumored to be an SUV. The i5 is expected to follow the i8 Roadster from the automaker's EV sub-brand, and sources tell Autocar that BMW has chosen an SUV body style for its new i offering. The style is appealing to BMW for its widespread popularity, and it offers greater potential profit margins than smaller cars. BMW has suggested 2021 as the earliest launch for the next i car, in order to make use of "the next big steps in electric motor, battery, and autonomy," according to sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson. Read more at Autocar.

The EU is considering mandatory EV charging points for new homes. In regulations expected to be published by the end of the year, homes built or refurbished from 2019 on could be required to install a charging station. Additionally, the law would require ten percent of parking spaces at new buildings to provide charging capability – something that could help convince apartment dwellers to adopt EVs. The rules are meant to foster EV proliferation, which would, as a side effect, create a strain on the grid. Vehicle-to-grid technology and second-life battery systems could help to that end, but the European Environment Agency is concerned about increased pollution from power plants. Read more at The Guardian.

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