According to Japan’s newspaper, Nikkan Kogyo Toyota is delaying the use of lithium-ion batteries in the next generation Prius because of safety concerns.
Lithium-ion batteries are more powerful than the nickel-metal hydride batteries that are currently used in the Prius. The lithium batteries are also used in other consumer electronics, but they can also have issues. Remember the exploding PC battery headlines from last year?
Toyota is being more cautious due to Toyota’s rising recall rate.
Interestingly the news coincides with an announcement by the Lithium Technology Corporation that they retrofitted a current generation Prius with a lithium-ion battery and achieved in excess of 125 mpg from the car. (BusinessWeek)
Lets hope that Toyota can get the issues fixed. A 125 mpg Prius would be great!
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