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TOKYO — Toyota is introducing a plug-in hybrid with next-generation lithium-ion batteries in Japan, the U.S. and Europe by 2010, under a widespread strategy to be green outlined Wednesday.
The ecological gas-electric vehicles, which can be recharged from a home electrical outlet, will target leasing customers, Toyota (TM) said. Such plug-in hybrids can run longer as an electric vehicle than regular hybrids, and are cleaner.
Lithium-ion batteries, now common in laptops, produce more power and are smaller than nickel-metal hydride batteries used in hybrids now.
The joint venture that Toyota set up with Matsu****a Electric Industrial Co., which makes Panasonic products, will begin producing lithium-ion batteries in 2009 and move into full-scale production in 2010, Toyota said.
Toyota also said it's setting up a battery research department later this month to develop an innovative battery that can outperform even that lithium-ion battery.

More at Link: http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/environment/2008-06-11-toyota-plug-in_N.htm

I saw this one coming. Sorry if repost.
 

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This is what you get for running your mouth too much GM.....(or what you will get, should they beat the Volt to market)
 

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Matsu-"Four Stars"-A? Never heard of that company.

How about we invest some of that endless AutoForums budget towards improving that dumb filter?

Surely it can't be that hard to implement that if d i c k starts with a capital D and is immediately followed by a space which is immediately followed by another capital letter, it's a first name and should not be messed with...
 

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I saw this one coming
So did I. Plus I expect Toyota to subsidize this heavily and make it affordable (if that's even necessary -- with possibly high residuals, the leases should be pretty affordable) while GM likely can't afford to lose money on the $40k Volt.
 

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That's serious trouble for GM ... there likely to beat the Volt to market with a plug in by a year, and everything I have heard so far leads me to believe they will significantly beat the Volt in price as well. That combined with it's current popularity means GM will have a very tough time.
 

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Anyone remember last year's comments from Toyota saying that lithium-ion isn't safe and that their HSD is better? Well, it looks like's they were just playin with us! The media makes Toyota out to be warm and lovable, but they're one of the most competitive and savvy companies on the face of the earth.

Man, I hate those guys!
 

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That's serious trouble for GM ... there likely to beat the Volt to market with a plug in by a year, and everything I have heard so far leads me to believe they will significantly beat the Volt in price as well. That combined with it's current popularity means GM will have a very tough time.
With gas prices continuing to climb, neither Toyota nor GM will be able to satisfy demand for plug-ins. I wouldn't worry too much - GM will still be able to sell every Volt they make.
 

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Maybe this is a plug in Prius with a very limited electric range. The Volt is a series hybrid where the wheels are driven by an electric motor 100% of the time. This seems to be a much better than the Prius' parallel hybrid approach. Maybe the Volts electric range of 40 miles is better than a plug in Prius' range.

The Volt is an electric car with a range extending gasoline motor and generator. General Motors has many years of experience with electric cars such as the EV1. I would not write off General Motors' ability to bring out a game changing Volt.
 

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Anyone remember last year's comments from Toyota saying that lithium-ion isn't safe and that their HSD is better? Well, it looks like's they were just playin with us! The media makes Toyota out to be warm and lovable, but they're one of the most competitive and savvy companies on the face of the earth.

Man, I hate those guys!
Maybe they were not playing with us and were dismissive of the Volt because they were caught flat footed by the public's favorable reaction to the Volt.

Didn't Toyota promise a fuel efficient Tundra hybrid? What happened to that project? General Motors is beating Toyota with the Tahoe and Silverado Two Mode Hybrids. Also, General Motors' Two Mode Hybrid technology is superior to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, particularly for trucks. History might repeat.
 

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Toyota also said it's setting up a battery research department later this month to develop an innovative battery that can outperform even that lithium-ion battery.


Wow, someone actully SEES the problem with Lithium and knows it will have to be addressed!
 

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The Volt is different from the Prius. Toyota may make it posible to plug your Prius to the socket, but, it does not make it a volt.

The US government should help GM with volt tax breaks. Its only fair. Or GM should sell it at a loss for sometime.
 

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The Volt is different from the Prius. Toyota may make it posible to plug your Prius to the socket, but, it does not make it a volt.

The US government should help GM with volt tax breaks. Its only fair. Or GM should sell it at a loss for sometime.
IMO this is a very important question. I think that GM and Toyota are actually going after different segments of the 'plugin market'. By all current reports the Volt will get 40 gas-free miles but probably will be priced in the $40K range ( less some tax credit to be determined ). With a plugin Prius option Toyota can use the existing platform fully developed and costed to offer an upscale trim level in the low $30K range while still maintaining the NiMH technology for the bulk of the Prius sales.

The NiMH / HSD technology is now 11 yrs old. By the time the Li-Ion technology hits it will be 14 yrs old and fully costed; i.e. inexpensive. Offering an $18000 Prius and a $20000 Prius and a $24K, $26K, $28K and $30K Prius with inexpensive NiMH batteries generates a huge volume for the everyday buyer. The Li-Ion technology appeals to those who must have the latest and greatest just as the Volt will.
 

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Maybe they were not playing with us and were dismissive of the Volt because they were caught flat footed by the public's favorable reaction to the Volt.

Didn't Toyota promise a fuel efficient Tundra hybrid? What happened to that project? General Motors is beating Toyota with the Tahoe and Silverado Two Mode Hybrids. Also, General Motors' Two Mode Hybrid technology is superior to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, particularly for trucks. History might repeat.

Several years ago even before the Volt was announced there was a certain segment of Prius buyers who wanted a plugin option. These buyers were mostly located in the SW. Many of the well-to-do ones actually paid $10000+ to have their 'traditional' vehicles converted.

Toyota has never been enthusiastic about plugins. It was the customers who pushed for them...then the Volt hit the front pages. I still think T is not in favor of them except as niche vehicles....at least in the near term.

Long term they make sense.

Why no Hybrid Tundra or Sequoia? GM probably beat them to market/patent office so they left the big vehicle segment to GM.
Notice how none of the hybrid makers truly compete against one another. I don't think that this is a coincidence.
 
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