With the demand for small, affordable hybrid vehicles on the rise, Toyota recently announced it’s plans to develop a small gasoline-electric car similar to their highly popular Yaris. This move by Toyota comes as the Honda Insight follows up it’s success in Japan with a move into the United States. “We are developing a low-priced hybrid vehicle like Honda’s Insight. We are going to compete by expanding our hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids, in the class of the Vitz and Yaris,” Akihiko Otsuka, chief engineer of the third-generation Toyota Prius. With Toyota moving in this direction, it will undoubtedly bring about a greater need for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, something that Otsuka says Toyota is planning to do mostly in house. To this point, electronics giant Panasonic has been the main supplier of nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are what is used in the Prius. However, with the trend in the auto industry moving heavily toward lithium-ion, Otsuka stated that Toyota didn’t want to become over-reliant on Panasonic for the production of battery packs.
Honda has been teamed up with Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp for their supply of lithium-ion battery packs, while the Insight is being powered with nickel-metal hydride batteries that are produced by Sanyo.
Category: Battery News