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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Fuels & Renewable Energy

Toyota delays release of hybrids with lithium-ion batteries

Toyota has decided to delay new high-mileage hybrids with lithium-ion battery technology for a year or two

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Toyota has decided to delay the launches of new high-mileage hybrids with lithium-ion battery technology for a year or two because of potential safety problems. The batteries Toyota is trying to develop use particles of lithium cobalt oxide. Such batteries have shown a tendency to overheat, catch fire or even explode.

Until recently, Toyota was preparing to roll out a dozen new and redesigned hybrids using new lithium-ion battery technology in the U.S. between 2008 and 2010. Its hybrids now use nickel-metal-hydride batteries.

The rollout--critical to Toyota's goal of selling 600,000 hybrids a year in the U.S. by early next decade, up from nearly 200,000 last year--is on hold, according to Toyota executives knowledgeable about the company's hybrid-product plans for the U.S. market. The slowdown could offer General Motors Corp. and other rivals a chance to narrow the gap in the race to define future clean-vehicle technology.

Source: Wall Street Journal



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