Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Toyota to sell lithium-ion battery-powered plug-in hybrid by 2010

DETROIT — Toyota Motor Corp will market a lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid car that can be charged with electricity using a household outlet by 2010, the company's President Katsuaki Watanabe said Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Toyota will thus challenge General Motors Corp, which has already announced that it will release a similar car by 2010, by becoming the first Japanese carmaker to launch such a model.

Toyota is currently conducting road tests for plug-in, hybrid prototypes powered by nickel-hydrogen batteries. The company now intends to use lithium-ion batteries in such cars because this type of power storage medium is compact and light and can be recharged an unlimited number of times with large amounts of electricity, Toyota officials said. Toyota's plug-in hybrid will run on gasoline after stored electricity runs out and the energy generated in the process of gasoline propulsion will be harnessed to charge the vehicle again with electricity, thereby boosting its mileage.


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