Toyota: We're not giving up on battery electric cars

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By: SGN Staff

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Toyota's announcement in September that it was dropping plans to produce its  eQ battery electric vehicle (BEV) was an acknowledgement that car buyers didn't want a car with a battery that substantially hiked the sticker price, was slow to charge and didn't have the range they wanted. But the innovative car maker is far from through with the all-electric car.

 

Instead, the company has been making progress in its R&D for a battery that uses magnesium as a replacement for lithium, according to an article in MIT Technology Review. Toyota researchers are optimistic about the potential because if they can get the chemistry and technology right, magnesium batteries would be cheaper and could store more power than lithium-based batteries.

 

Magnesium is substantially more plentiful than rare lithium so the cost would be less, and it could store more power which translates into longer range.

 

But don't expect to see magnesium batteries hit the market anytime soon. Researchers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America are exploring two avenues for developing the magnesium battery, and they and others say once the right technology is nailed down it will be another 10 years or so before it is commercially available.

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