Toyota Backs Off Lithium-Ion Plans for Prius

toyota backs off lithium ion plans for prius

Toyota is delaying introducing lithium-ion battery-powered hybrids because of safety concerns. Forbes reports that the Japanese automaker is hanging fire (so to speak) due to worries that the cells might overheat or explode. Toyota doesn't expect to have hybrids with Li-Ion batteries until 2011. They've also delayed plans for Tundra and Sequoia hybrids. Whether or not this will affect GM's hopes of lithium-ion powered Volt is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, commenting on an earlier TTAC post, Tesla spinmeister Darryl Siry claims their Roadster's Li-ion battery pack passed UN and DOT protocols for safety "when shipping" which which "can actually be harsher than safety when in a car."

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  • Johnson Johnson on Aug 09, 2007
    rtz, li-ion batteries in small applications like power tools are one thing; li-ion batteries in large applications like automobiles is a whole other matter. Li-ion batteries in a car will have to be high voltage high power batteries that must also withstand a crash and be reliable for many years without replacement. Power tool batteries don't have to do any of that.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Aug 10, 2007
    " ... UN and DOT protocols for safety "when shipping" .... " Hmmm, I don't think the United Nations (UN) has any battery shipping safety protocols.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Aug 10, 2007
    "rtz, li-ion batteries in small applications like power tools are one thing; li-ion batteries in large applications like automobiles is a whole other matter. Li-ion batteries in a car will have to be high voltage high power batteries that must also withstand a crash and be reliable for many years without replacement. Power tool batteries don’t have to do any of that." The rechargeable batteries in my power tools, cell phones, etc. are a source of real aggravation as they fail to hold a decent charge after 1-2 years and are terribly expensive to replace.

  • Johnson Johnson on Aug 11, 2007
    jthorner: The rechargeable batteries in my power tools, cell phones, etc. are a source of real aggravation as they fail to hold a decent charge after 1-2 years and are terribly expensive to replace. Exactly. I too have cell phones, tools, laptops that use li-ion batteries, and they significantly use their ability to hold power/charge after 2-3 years. Toyota currently gives an 8 year warranty on their hybrid vehicles that covers the whole hybrid system including batteries. I'm guessing that Toyota wants to achieve at least the same reliability/durability levels with Li-ion batteries as they have achieved with NiMH. That means having li-ion batteries than can be reliable for many years, and importantly that can hold a charge consistenly for many years without severe performance degredation.

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