Toyota to Start Lithium Battery Production in 2009

The third-generation Prius, due next year, would continue to use nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Published: 13-Jun-2008

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp's battery joint venture will start producing longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries in 2009 as it aims to roll out more electric cars over the next few years.

Toyota, the world's top maker of gasoline-electric hybrids, is keen to bring such vehicles into the mainstream by lowering their costs as more consumers around the world demand higher fuel economy amid record-high energy prices.

The battery venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. currently produces nickel-metal hydride batteries used in Toyota's hybrid vehicles. It is building two new factories to bring annual output capacity to 1 million batteries around 2010.

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