Japanese car giant Toyota has confirmed plans to acquire a 15% stake in Australian-based lithium mining company Orocobre with an estimated investment of AUD292 million ($229m).
The move will help secure stable supplies of a key mineral for future electric vehicle batteries to meet anticipated market demand, Toyota said.
A UK materials developer has been chosen alongside a handful elite US universities to work with Toyota as it turns to Artificial intelligence AI in order to develop new battery materials, the company announced last week.
Having pioneered the hybrid automobile, Japan automaker Toyota is advancing its technological know how in lithium-ion batteries as it eyes the pure electric vehicle market.
Famous for launching the hybrid Prius in 1997, the company is now establishing an ‘in-house’ venture company to develop EVs— and maybe as soon as 2020, according to news outlet Reuters.
Engineers at Japanese automaker Toyota claim to have tamed volatile lithium-ion batteries while increasing power at no significant extra cost, according to newswire Reuters.
Lithium-ion battery safety concerns not only exist in mobile devices, think of Samsung’s heartbreak, but also electric vehicles.
Officanados of the vehicle won’t be able to spot much of a difference unless they have the spec sheet, and even that wasn’t available in the conference proceedings.
Perhaps this reflects a little disillusion from the company that still leads the way in hybrid sales, but perhaps that because European sales of hybrids and electrics aren’t really that much to write home about — still less than 3% of overall car sales.
With the event being the premier gathering of the great and the good in European battery and automotive technology, one might have expected more from the global leader.
Lord explained that even in generation four there will still be a choice between nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion cells from Panasonic. This doesn’t reflect Toyota hedging its bets on lithium— more a case of squeezing every last cent from the nickel metal hydride line.
Close observers will see whatever battery is chosen now finds itself out of the trunk and under the rear passenger seat and with a 10% reduction in volume. Overall the company has achieved reductions of more than 20% in terms of mechanical and electrical losses and this leads to a 10% improvement in fuel economy.
But with gasoline prices edging ever downwards (for now), the pre collision braking is likely to be a bigger draw. If you’re confused about which way to go with batteries, so is the car industry: read the editor’s blog on AABC here and see a full report in the Spring issues ( subscribe here).
Japanese automaker Toyota has opted for lithium-ion batteries for the first time in its 4th generation hybrid Prius cars.
Traditionally made with nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, half of the new Prius models will contain lithium-ion batteries, the other half NiMH, with both battery types to be made available in North America and Japan.
Tesla is to open up a battery production plant in Germany “within five to six years”, according to the carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk.
In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel Musk called for more effort in the development of batteries in Germany and criticised the German automotive industry for the lack of technological commitment despite “fulfilling all qualifications for it.”
Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius will give the option between a lithium-ion battery and a nickel-metal hydride unit, Toyota revealed in an interview with Automotive News.
"The batteries will be renewed. Everything will be revised. And I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone,” said Koei Saga, senior managing officer at Toyota.