By on May 23, 2008

1118550814_54343.jpgAutomotive News (sub) reports that Toyota is investing $673m in new Japanese battery facilities, with the goal of building one million batteries per year by 2011. A new nickel-metal hydride plant is planned for northern Japan, and a new lithium-ion plant will be built southwest of Tokyo. They're also adding to an existing metal-hydride facility as Toyota expands operations to meet the million hybrid vehicles per year demand it expects in the next decade. Toyota's batteries are built by Panasonic EV Energy Co, a joint venture between Panasonic and Toyota. Details are not currently available for the two new plants, but once expanded, the existing metal-hydride plant will build 300k batteries per year. Reports indicate that lithium-ion production will not exceed the tens of thousands, indicating that Toyota will continue to rely on its proven metal-hydride technology for most hybrid applications. With Nissan jumping into lithium-ion production, and Honda announcing an increased hybrid lineup, Toyota's investment is a necessary step in building on its enviable lead in hybrid production. With about 430k hybrids sold last year, and sales of the gas-electric whips rising at a steady clip, Toyota should have few problems selling a million hybrids annually within the next five years.

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10 Comments on “Toyota Juicing Up Battery Production...”

  • avatar

    J A Pan prepares for the future, Detroit..????

  • avatar

    So how does one recycle all those batteries once the vehicles are either wrecked or die from old age? Anyone have any plans for that?

  • avatar

    Heck they could sell a million Prii this year if they could produce them.

    Looks like they are going to stick with Ni-Mh for the foreseeable future for the bulk of their hybrids.

    I wonder if they will use the Li batteries for some non-Vaporware Tesla Roadster like product.

    I would love to purchase the electric reincarnation of the MR2.

  • avatar

    but I thought oil prices were about to plummet, catching speculators with their pants down…

    who will bring me the coal fired car of the post-apocalypse?

  • avatar

    Airhen – So how does one recycle all those batteries once the vehicles are either wrecked or die from old age? Anyone have any plans for that?

    There’s already a bounty ($300 iirc) on each pack, the nickel inside is very valuable. Also, they way these packs fail allows companies to take several failed packs and remove the individual bad cells, replacing them with matched cells from another pack. Expect these to be refurbished first, then recycled.

  • avatar

    You can have a coal fired car now if we would start liquifying it. (responsibly of course)

  • avatar

    It seems Toyota is very happy with their NiMH batteries.
    They should accelerate their hybrid program. The way gas prices are going, pretty much everybody wants a hybrid these days.

  • avatar

    I like Toyota’s hybrid cars, and I’m glad to hear they’re gearing up to make more of them. My family has always stayed buying American, more specifically Fords. But if Toyota keeps on making good decisions and ramping up hybrid tech, I’m going to want a Toyota as my next car. I’d go with a Prius, sure, but I really like the A-BAT truck concept. I remember, one rainy trip to the mountains last year, I decided optimum conditions for a fuel efficient crew-cab truck would be a four-foot bed with midgate, four-cylinder (possibly hybrid) with a really small engine compartment, and maybe four-wheel drive. And damned if Toyota didn’t take my idea, down to every dimension, and build their little concept truck just like I wanted.

    Sure, it’s not a real looker (just look at the pictures at Autoblog here) but I can’t argue with the fact that Toyota’s on the right track in making a hybrid truck a la the RAV-4 (and you thought soft-roaders would never catch on). If Toyota made it $22K with 35 mpg, I would definitely try to convince my union-manager uncle and pro-union family to let me buy one. Considering that all trucks are made in North America, it might not be too tough.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Meanwhile, GM spent over $800M buying Detroit area real estate.

  • avatar

    Yep, Company A makes an important investment in what HAS to be a significant part of the future of the automobile.

    Meanwhile, Company B continues to prove it has its head up its ass.

    It’d be unbelievable if it didn’t happen on a daily basis….

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