Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Toyota to Start Developing Innovative Next-Generation Battery

Toyota Motor Corporation logo
Tokyo, June 11, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> said Wednesday that it will launch a new team in late June for the research and development of innovative next-generation automotive batteries.

The team will initially have some 50 engineers, and the number will be doubled two years later, according to the top Japanese automaker.

Toyota also said its battery-making joint venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. <6752>, called Panasonic EV Energy Co., will start small-scale output of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles at a plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, next year. Full-fledged production is slated to begin in 2010.

The new Toyota R&D team is due to study technologies for such next-generation batteries as solid-state batteries and metal-air batteries, both of which are said to have higher energy densities and be safer than lithium-ion batteries.

Toyota will aim to launch such new batteries by around 2030, according to Vice President Masatami Takimoto.

Toyota also said it now aims to reduce fiscal 2010 carbon dioxide emissions from its global production sites by 35 pct from the level in fiscal 2001, more ambitious than the previously targeted 20 pct cut. In fiscal 2007 that ended last March, CO2 emissions from the Toyota plants dropped 32 pct from the fiscal 2001 level.


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