Toyota Prius (Photo: Toyota, Wieck)
Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
Toyota is planning a giant increase in production of lithium ion batteries as prepares to use them in its flagship Prius sedan, Reuters reports.
Toyota plans a six-fold boost in it use of the batteries, which are substantially lighter and more powerful than the nickel-metal hydride batteries it uses in the current Prius.
The report comes from Japanese newspaper Nikkei, which, citing unnamed sources, says Toyota and battery partner Panasonic will increase lithium-ion battery output capacity to 200,000 units a year.
Nearly all plug-in vehicles depend on lithium-ion batteries. Nickel metal hydride, which powered the first generation of hybrids, are cheaper, but are clearly on the way out.