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I received an email from Hyundai spouting a car with over 300HP and I emailed them back and told them that a car with 300HP was NOT what I needed. I told them I needed either a plug in hybrid with a 100 mile range or an electric with 150 mile range.

This was only 2 weeks ago so I doubt that I was the instigator.:D
 

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Whether thay have announced yet or not, rest assured that every car manufacturer in the world is working on an EV project. The question is, what type and how far along are they? The closer to 2010 we get, the more announcements we'll hear.
 

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If the cars don't reach speeds of 55-75 mph in all electric mode, then I am not interested. Majority of Californians who commute to work will use the freeway as part of the way getting to the work place. Thus, it is very important that the car should drive at normal freeway speed in all electric mode. This way, we will have an option to be truly gas-free.

The Volt gives us that option and you don't worry about getting a flat line on your battery either, or even frozen batteries during the coldest winter nights.

The new plug-in Prius from Toyota due to release in 2010, is still a golf cart by analogy, as the Prius with its current power configuration cannot get into freeway speed on pure electric mode. Sure the new design can be driven 10 miles in pure electric mode, that is, if you are driving at residential neighborhood speed limit or the stop and go city traffic speed. Even within some cities of California, posted speed limits ranges from 45 mph to 55 mph within some city streets, and the Prius cannot go into electric mode. This means that the Prius will always use gasoline even if it is a hybrid when used as a commuter vehicle, thus, Toyota is not giving us an option to stop funding the people who would love to kill us, unless you drive within 35 mph traffic speed limit within the city or residential areas.

I was wondering if Hyundai has the same parallel hybrid technology. I would have wanted them to use the REEV approach like the Volt, and then there is true competition.
 

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55 – 75 mph commuting speed at 101, 680, Hollywood, Ventura or San Diego Fwys?!

Of course completely weaning us of the crude from the people who would love to kill us is the ultimate goal. But, even reducing the import amount by 20 to 30 percent makes a big difference. And this is possible today. Just drive more fuel-efficient cars, trucks and SUVs. Those vehicles are available now. Here parallel hybrids help a lot. If the Federal and State government jointly subsidise $5000 for each purchase of fuel efficient big-3 vehicle in exchange for ’90 or earlier 6- or 8-cylinder cars for the first 15 million purchasers, you are talking about 75 billion dollars and reduction of the national gas consumption by 5% or so, at the same time cleaning up the air a lot. Besides, if you consider the increase of corporate tax revenue and sale of scrap metals to China the net subsidy amount can be as small as 50 billion dollars (An amount Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can finance personally. The Iraq war has cost US about 600 billion dollars, so far.)
 

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If the cars don't reach speeds of 55-75 mph in all electric mode, then I am not interested. Majority of Californians who commute to work will use the freeway as part of the way getting to the work place. Thus, it is very important that the car should drive at normal freeway speed in all electric mode. This way, we will have an option to be truly gas-free.

The Volt gives us that option and you don't worry about getting a flat line on your battery either, or even frozen batteries during the coldest winter nights.

The new plug-in Prius from Toyota due to release in 2010, is still a golf cart by analogy, as the Prius with its current power configuration cannot get into freeway speed on pure electric mode. Sure the new design can be driven 10 miles in pure electric mode, that is, if you are driving at residential neighborhood speed limit or the stop and go city traffic speed. Even within some cities of California, posted speed limits ranges from 45 mph to 55 mph within some city streets, and the Prius cannot go into electric mode. This means that the Prius will always use gasoline even if it is a hybrid when used as a commuter vehicle, thus, Toyota is not giving us an option to stop funding the people who would love to kill us, unless you drive within 35 mph traffic speed limit within the city or residential areas.

I was wondering if Hyundai has the same parallel hybrid technology. I would have wanted them to use the REEV approach like the Volt, and then there is true competition.



JoeReal, I didn't know there were any published specifications for the new plug-in Prius from Toyota. Please forward the link because I would love to check them out. Thanks.

If what you say is true then the Toyota would be very foolish to design the next Prius to obviously fail in the marketplace. What idiots! Imagine purposefully failing with no thought to the marketplace or what amount of money they think people are willing to spend or any thought about market share, etc. What fools! Wait a minute... Something smells fishy... I doubt Toyota, the market leader of hybrids, would be so obtuse. Maybe, just maybe, they have a plan. Maybe they have carefully considered all things including the current state of battery technology, markets, vehicle price, etc. Now that makes more sense. Of course we will not know until a few years after both the Volt and the new plug-in Prius are in volume production but I’m guessing Toyota will not be hurting. Is that your contention?
 

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Texas,
I'll try to find the link that I read. Although there is no actual specifications, it was implied by the report. Also the battery capacity of the soon to be released plug-in is something like 2 to 10 miles in all electric mode within the city, IIRC. Although Toyota has plans for Lithium-ion and has some tests planned in 2009, it will sell its plug-in hybrid using Lithium Metal Hydride battery. I'll post the link as soon as I find it in one of my mail alerts.
Joe
 

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I think GM's battery partners would be key into all of this competition. Latest news from Bob Lutz is that he commented that the batteries are flawless and perfroming perfectly that it is very frightening!

Remember that Toyota used to market the Prius as a green vehicle that you don't need to plug in. So it is hard to overcome. And the link to the article above is that the new Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid stated that at best it would do 2 miles on pure electric, maybe 10 miles at the most, indicating that their battery technology wouldn't be at par with the Volt. And it would always switch between gasoline and electric mode, assuring the coffers of oil producers, and the hint of not being able to do freeway speed in pure electric mode. The electric motor of the new Toyota Prius will be bigger though.

My opinion is that Toyota is doing a shortcut to try to diffuse the enthusiasm about the Volt by offering a lot cheaper alternative of "plug-in". However, their batteries pale in comparison to that of the Volt. But if Toyota is serious, to match the electric speed and range of the Volt, I would think it would be priced more expensively than the Volt.
 

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My point is that Toyota has not published anything. They have thought it out completely so don't count them out. They are a formidable competitor and are not going to give up their leading green image without a fight.

Additionally, their battery research is world class and commands the most funding. The Japanese are building battery factories like crazy. Any company that counts them out of this game does so at their own peril.
 

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It is true that we shouldn't count them out. The better the competition, the better off we as consumers be.

But I personally think that based on tidbits of reports, Toyota is desperate to diffuse the grand coming of the Volt. The next gen Prius for example won't be on Lithium ion type battery but on improved Nickel Metal hydride so that they can have something to offer by January 2010, creating an illusion that they are on the market well before GM does with the Chevy Volt which will be released by November 2010. This also indicates that Toyota's battery partners are not as advanced as GM's Volt battery suppliers. And with Toyota's blind enthusiasm for the parallel hybrid, claiming it to be a lot better than REEV, there is no incentive for them to go with better batteries that could move the vehicle in the same speed and range as the Volt.

And yes, you're right, don't count them out yet, they could easily change as the market demands.
 

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It is true that we shouldn't count them out. The better the competition, the better off we as consumers be.

But I personally think that based on tidbits of reports, Toyota is desperate to diffuse the grand coming of the Volt. The next gen Prius for example won't be on Lithium ion type battery but on improved Nickel Metal hydride so that they can have something to offer by January 2010, creating an illusion that they are on the market well before GM does with the Chevy Volt which will be released by November 2010. This also indicates that Toyota's battery partners are not as advanced as GM's Volt battery suppliers. And with Toyota's blind enthusiasm for the parallel hybrid, claiming it to be a lot better than REEV, there is no incentive for them to go with better batteries that could move the vehicle in the same speed and range as the Volt.

And yes, you're right, don't count them out yet, they could easily change as the market demands.


JoeReal, I think you might be confusing the 2009 model with the 2010 plug-in model. Toyota already said that they were going to use lithium-ion batteries for the 2010 plug-in model. Here is just one article:


"Toyota plans to replace the nickel-metal-hydride batteries with lighter, more efficient lithium-ion batteries during the new car’s model cycle, but early models will persevere with the older technology.

Toyota plans to start producing lithium-ion batteries next year in a joint venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial, but they are not expected to enter vehicle production until at least 2010.

A plug-in hybrid version is also expected to be available early next decade.

Although the body doesn’t look very different from the current model, it is rumoured to be 25mm wider and 30mm shorter than the current model.

The main visual difference is at the rear of the car. The hatchback’s glass area has been extended and a prominent rear spoiler splits the glass section, in a similar design to Mercedes’s C-Class Sports Coupe (since replaced by the new CLC).

The 2010 Prius will be built at Toyota’s new Mississippi plant in the United States as part of plan to reduce the car’s whole-of-life environmental footprint.

Critics have suggested that the Prius hybrid's fuel efficiency is cancelled out by the carbon emissions created during shipping from the Japan to the United States.

The new Prius is expected to go into production in Japan – and for the first time, the United States – early in 2009, with local versions tipped to arrive in the middle of 2009."


http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4670893a30.html


Then again, we don't have numbers carved in stone. However, I heard they want the lithium-ion plug-in model out BEFORE the Volt. Now wouldn't that suck. ;)
 

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Texas, I think you're the one getting confused, but hey, no problem if it was you or me or both of us as we are not reading the same pages. Anyway, the timelines I've mentioned and I've read are different than yours. But I don't think that Toyota can produce a car with the same speed capacity and range as the Volt before GM is able to market one. The best that they can do is come up with a January 2010 release that has only a fraction of the capability of the Volt when it comes to pure electric mode. And I am sure I understood very clearly what I read. From what I haven't read, the lack of specs can be interpreted as that Toyota Prius is not up to the specs of the Volt when it comes to electric mode capabilities.

Some specs will come out eventually, and Toyota is not that secretive as Apple. But I won't be surprised if they do come out better, but it would be after the Volt is released. Just my speculations. And as the saying goes.... Only time will tell.

Cheers man!

Joe
 

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My Speculations Are Correct, Texas! Toyota Admits It!

from this link:
http://greenlight.greentechmedia.com/2008/09/02/toyota-plugs-lithium-ion-batteries-reluctantly-507/

Here's Toyota's admission that they don't know how to use Lithium Ion batteries properly. It is going to take some time for them to do it, as in catching up with GM...

"Copenhagen—Toyota and lithium just don’t mix.

Masatami Takimoto, executive vice president for the technology department at Toyota, acknowleged during a presentation at Copenmind, a technology conference taking place here this week, that the Japanese auto giant will inevitably put lithium ion batteries in some types of cars.

Toyota, for instance, will probably put lithium ions into commuter cars and will also likely use a lithium ion battery in its plug-in hybrids. In fact, the company will in the near future send out lithium ion batteries to those testing the plug-in Prius. Right now, those plug-in Priuses contain two regular Prius batteries, which cuts the all-electric driving range down to around 13 kilometers.

Challenges, though, persist with lithium-ion batteries, he said. They are expensive. They can’t drive cars very far and they weigh a lot, which in turn hurts mileage. Thus, enthusiasm is tempered.

“Lithium ion batteries will probably be used in vehicles, but we still have problems,” Takimoto said. “We do think it’s appropriate to use lithium ion batteries in commuter cars.”

And don’t expect an all-electric car with lithium ion batteries, or any kind for that matter, for a while. Batteries don’t have the energy density that can compete well with liquid fuels or even fuel cells."

http://greenlight.greentechmedia.com/2008/09/02/toyota-plugs-lithium-ion-batteries-reluctantly-507/
 

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JoeReal,
In this fiercely contested market we have tendency of underestimating competitors…

Reading the article you mentioned, I found that the Toyota engineer was either hiding the fact that Toyota is about ready to start using its own Li-ion cells or attempting to imply that the Volt cannot be ready for the market so easily. Probably both.
Remember Toyota has its own battery factory (a joint venture with Panasonic) which currently is manufacturing the NMH cells for the Prius and other hybrids. The factory is relatively new and they (Toyota and Panasonic) have to recoup the money (no small change) invested in the factory quickly, which is probably one of the reasons why Toyota will be using the NMH cells for the next generation Prius. Remember also that Panasonic is one of the first mass-producers of Li-ion cells and one of the major suppliers today for cellphone and laptop manufacturers. Big difference between GM and Toyota is that Toyota committed itself in the battery research and manufacturing by building its own factory, while GM is shopping for a supplier (A123, LG or ?). As I mentioned elsewhere in the forum (http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1408) the Yomiuri newspaper reported about a week ago that Toyota would be mass-producing short-range EVs using Li-ion cells by early 2010. This publication is usually accurate in its reports and so far Toyota has been conspicuously quiet about the article.
 

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Thanks G35X. Has Panasonic improved the problem with the exploding Lithium Ions and have increased their capacity and charging lifetime like those of A123? Based on the slide shown by Toyota at that conference, their Lithium Ion is only minimally better than their NiMH batteries. If truly Toyota has at par or better Li-Ion batteries than GM's supplier, then they would be the game changer, and ironically, if Toyota produces them cheaply, GM can sign them up as supplier. But I don't think Toyota has any battery that at par with that of A123.
 

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I believe A123 systems is already selling their Hypomotion Li-Ion battery pack for retrofitting in Priuses. Google is their partner and they already have a fleet of Li-Ion Priuses that can get over 100mpg. Look up Hypomotion. They unfortunately cost ~10,000 right now.

As for all the Prius hate: are you people completely ignoring cost? The next-gen Li-Ion Prius surely won't compete with the Volt in all-electric performance, but it's not going to cost more than 40,000 now is it? So please don't write off the Prius when it's obvious that it will have a very large presence on our roads in the near future.
 

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I don't necessarily hate the Prius (but I can't hide the fact that it looks uglier than the Volt, perhaps the new version would look better), and Hymotion admits that with the battery pack, the converted Prius can't sustain the pure electric mode when going more than 55 mph.

And you are right. Priuses are about $28K here (but the bare bones model are around $22K), due to high demand, plus Hymotion installation which depends where you are can cost up to $10K-$12K, that brings it to about the same price as Volt's $40K. However, with the Volt, that is pure electric for the first 40 miles with no gas consumption. Now, if the rebate program pushes through, perhaps between $5K to $7K, it would really help the Volt be lower priced or just at par with the must-use-some-gas Hymotion upgraded Prius.

And I agree that Priuses will be here for a long time, no doubt about that.
 

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In this post I aim to put to rest any doubts that Toyota is going to use advanced lithium-ion batteries in their plug-in Prius that is due to be release around the same time as the Volt. I also establish relationships that suggest that the advanced lithium-ion electrodes will be lithium magnesium - either a layered LiMO2 component or a spinel LiM2O4 component. Firstly, I will write a few words about the Hymotion issue.

JoeReal, There is a few points that you have to address when talking about the Hymotion system. First, it is an aftermarket system that must be hand installed. It costs $10,000 and only produces 1/4 of the kWhs of the Volt's $10,000 battery. The production plug-in Prius will have the same cost advantages (being designed in from the start and having huge volumes - much bigger volumes than the Volt). Did you consider that? That the Prius’ lithium battery may actually be cheaper per kWh than the Volt's because the Prius may start out at a higher volume of production?


OK, now on to Toyota’s plug-in Prius (due out around the same time as the Volt):


Toyota's rechargeable Prius will use lithium-ion batteries, an advance over the nickel-metal hydride versions in existing hybrids. More Range Rechargeable Priuses with extra nickel-metal batteries are now being tested in California and Japan, with a range of about 7 miles on battery power alone. Toyota estimates the new plug- ins will be able to travel 10 miles (16 kilometers) on a charge.
``We'll be studying the range, but think we'll need more than that for a consumer version,'' Toyota spokesman John Hanson said today in an interview from Tokyo. ``Non-consumer fleets'' such as utilities will use the vehicles, Hanson said.
Toyota, based in Toyota City, Japan, is targeting its first commercial plug-in sales for late 2010, the same debut GM expects for the Volt. The Detroit-based automaker wants the Volt to have as much as 40 miles of all-electric range.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=akRq_GCaGMRE&refer=japan

“For the redesigned Prius, Toyota will stick with the current generation’s nickel-metal hydride batteries. The long-awaited lithium ion batteries, light in weight and high in power, will debut in Toyota’s first plug-in hybrid, due in 2010, he said.

More batteries

Panasonic EV Energy Co., the joint venture that makes Toyota’s hybrid vehicle batteries, will start making the lithium ion batteries in 2009, Takimoto said. Panasonic EV is building the production line at its main plant in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo.

Initial output will test quality consistency. Mass production will begin in 2010."


It think that is very clear. Do you still disagree, JoeReal? There are about 10 articles claiming the same thing. So, no. I really do not agree with you. I think you did not read the article carefully.


Next lets talk about Toyota’s actual battery factory plans:


The lithium ion batteries produced at the new plant will likely be scheduled for next-gen hybrids like the upcoming Lexus version of the third-generation Prius sedan. The total investment from Toyota will be \20 billion, or $192.3 million. These new plants are expected to support Toyota's ambitious goal to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year within the next decade. Currently, the Japanese giant is the global leader in hybrid sales, selling 429,000 of the gasoline/electric vehicles in 2007. The three plants will have the capacity to produce a million packs by the year 2011, which lines up quite nicely with Toyota's plans

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/05/24/toyota-plans-3-battery-plants-for-hybrid-vehicles/


Toyota lithium-ion battery chemistry:


After digging around I have a good idea as to what lithium-ion battery chemistry Toyota is going to use for the Prius. You have to search the following path:

1) Toyota - Panasonic (established relationship)
2) Panasonic - Matsushita (Panasonic is a brand of Matsushita)
3) Matsushita - Mitsubishi (have joint ventures to produce auto-use lithium-ion batteries)
4) Mitsubishi - GS Yuasa ( formed the following)
5) Lithium Energy Japan (Makes the LEV50 and LEV50-4 large format lithium-ion battery)
6) LEV uses the same construction and electrodes as the LIM series.
7) LIM series stands for Lithium magnesium - Li2MnO3 (layered) component is structurally integrated with either a layered LiMO2 component or a spinel LiM2O4 component. These are advanced lithium-ion electrode materials.


Here are the supporting links that establish this relationship:

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp have separate joint ventures with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the NEC Corp group and GS Yuasa Corp, respectively, to mass-produce auto-use lithium-ion batteries.”

http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/reuters/2008/08/22/2008-08-22T122241Z_01_T361303_RTRIDST_0_SANYO-BATTERIES-INTERVIEW-UPDATE-3.html

“Lithium Energy Japan is a new company devoted to the development, manufacture and sale of large lithium-ion batteries. GS Yuasa joined forces with Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to establish "Lithium Energy Japan" in December of 2007.

Developing environmentally-friendly EVs to contribute to greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction.

The key to the development of EVs is efficient, compact, and high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The potential uses of such batteries are not limited solely to EVs; they could be used throughout cities to help usher in a new, environmentally-friendly society. And realizing this 'New Society' is the goal of "Lithium Energy Japan" as it takes the lead worldwide in achieving mass production of large lithium-ion batteries. "Lithium Energy Japan" makes sure its research and development are always one step ahead, that its selection of products and production capacity is continually expanding, and that it remains a constant contributor to the expansion of the lithium-ion battery market.”

http://lithiumenergy.jp/en/corporate/index.html


GS Yuasa has developed a new high capacity Lithium-ion cell and battery module for electric vehicle (EV) applications. The new cell and battery are based on the “LIM series” of large-sized Lithium-ion batteries manufactured by GS Yuasa [1, 2] and use a similar construction and electrode materials.”

http://www.x-cd.com/EVS23CD/pdfs/166.pdf



Summary:

I feel I have established that Toyota is going to use lithium-ion batteries in the plug-in Prius that is scheduled to be released around the same time as the Volt. I have also established clear relationships that show Toyota has access to high volumes of advanced lithium-ion batteries. Thus, it think it is unwise to discount Toyota in the plug-in hybrid race. I look forward to evaluating both the Prius and the Volt when they hit the showroom floor. The stakes are high. Who will deliver on time and who will falter?
 

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Now it brings back memories of a Toyota fanatic amidst the GM fans...

In this post I aim to put to rest any doubts that Toyota is going to use advanced lithium-ion batteries in their plug-in Prius that is due to be release around the same time as the Volt. I also establish relationships that suggest that the advanced lithium-ion electrodes will be lithium magnesium - either a layered LiMO2 component or a spinel LiM2O4 component.
When is this going to happen? And when it would be really safe to use?


Firstly, I will write a few words about the Hymotion issue.

JoeReal, There is a few points that you have to address when talking about the Hymotion system. First, it is an aftermarket system that must be hand installed. It costs $10,000 and only produces 1/4 of the kWhs of the Volt's $10,000 battery. The production plug-in Prius will have the same cost advantages (being designed in from the start and having huge volumes - much bigger volumes than the Volt). Did you consider that? That the Prius’ lithium battery may actually be cheaper per kWh than the Volt's because the Prius may start out at a higher volume of production?
You have just supported my implied argument that the Volt's range and price is well worth its money, if you do the math. Thank you!

The volume of production of Prius' lithium battery doesn't guarantee a cheaper per kWh production cost. What it can also read is that you have higher production of losses if the manufacturing of the battery is more expensive than that of A123's newer methods. If you are selling a loss leader, certainly you lose more by selling more through higher production. What should resolve this is real data of the cost of production of both battery types. We don't know who GM will choose at this point, and as far as I can recall, the Panasonic Lithium ions are still exploding.


OK, now on to Toyota’s plug-in Prius (due out around the same time as the Volt):


Toyota's rechargeable Prius will use lithium-ion batteries, an advance over the nickel-metal hydride versions in existing hybrids. More Range Rechargeable Priuses with extra nickel-metal batteries are now being tested in California and Japan, with a range of about 7 miles on battery power alone. Toyota estimates the new plug- ins will be able to travel 10 miles (16 kilometers) on a charge.
``We'll be studying the range, but think we'll need more than that for a consumer version,'' Toyota spokesman John Hanson said today in an interview from Tokyo. ``Non-consumer fleets'' such as utilities will use the vehicles, Hanson said.
Toyota, based in Toyota City, Japan, is targeting its first commercial plug-in sales for late 2010, the same debut GM expects for the Volt. The Detroit-based automaker wants the Volt to have as much as 40 miles of all-electric range.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=akRq_GCaGMRE&refer=japan

“For the redesigned Prius, Toyota will stick with the current generation’s nickel-metal hydride batteries. The long-awaited lithium ion batteries, light in weight and high in power, will debut in Toyota’s first plug-in hybrid, due in 2010, he said.

More batteries

Panasonic EV Energy Co., the joint venture that makes Toyota’s hybrid vehicle batteries, will start making the lithium ion batteries in 2009, Takimoto said. Panasonic EV is building the production line at its main plant in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo.

Initial output will test quality consistency. Mass production will begin in 2010."


It think that is very clear. Do you still disagree, JoeReal? There are about 10 articles claiming the same thing. So, no. I really do not agree with you. I think you did not read the article carefully.
It is very clear that you are the one who can't interpret the above statements very clearly in the proper context of what COMMERCIAL test fleet is and how different it is than the actual commuting drivers. Yes I EVEN HAVE MENTIONED that the Prius lithium ion plug-ins will be released to COMMERCIAL test fleet by 2010, BUT it will be the "improved" Nickel Metal Hydride batteries that will be released for sale to the general public by January 2010, and the electric mode range of those ARE STILL PATHETIC as yourself have referenced. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Next lets talk about Toyota’s actual battery factory plans:


The lithium ion batteries produced at the new plant will likely be scheduled for next-gen hybrids like the upcoming Lexus version of the third-generation Prius sedan. The total investment from Toyota will be \20 billion, or $192.3 million. These new plants are expected to support Toyota's ambitious goal to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year within the next decade. Currently, the Japanese giant is the global leader in hybrid sales, selling 429,000 of the gasoline/electric vehicles in 2007. The three plants will have the capacity to produce a million packs by the year 2011, which lines up quite nicely with Toyota's plans

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/05/24/toyota-plans-3-battery-plants-for-hybrid-vehicles/


Toyota lithium-ion battery chemistry:


After digging around I have a good idea as to what lithium-ion battery chemistry Toyota is going to use for the Prius. You have to search the following path:

1) Toyota - Panasonic (established relationship)
2) Panasonic - Matsushita (Panasonic is a brand of Matsushita)
3) Matsushita - Mitsubishi (have joint ventures to produce auto-use lithium-ion batteries)
4) Mitsubishi - GS Yuasa ( formed the following)
5) Lithium Energy Japan (Makes the LEV50 and LEV50-4 large format lithium-ion battery)
6) LEV uses the same construction and electrodes as the LIM series.
7) LIM series stands for Lithium magnesium - Li2MnO3 (layered) component is structurally integrated with either a layered LiMO2 component or a spinel LiM2O4 component. These are advanced lithium-ion electrode materials.

Here are the supporting links that establish this relationship:

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp have separate joint ventures with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the NEC Corp group and GS Yuasa Corp, respectively, to mass-produce auto-use lithium-ion batteries.”

http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/reuters/2008/08/22/2008-08-22T122241Z_01_T361303_RTRIDST_0_SANYO-BATTERIES-INTERVIEW-UPDATE-3.html

“Lithium Energy Japan is a new company devoted to the development, manufacture and sale of large lithium-ion batteries. GS Yuasa joined forces with Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to establish "Lithium Energy Japan" in December of 2007.

Developing environmentally-friendly EVs to contribute to greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction.

The key to the development of EVs is efficient, compact, and high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The potential uses of such batteries are not limited solely to EVs; they could be used throughout cities to help usher in a new, environmentally-friendly society. And realizing this 'New Society' is the goal of "Lithium Energy Japan" as it takes the lead worldwide in achieving mass production of large lithium-ion batteries. "Lithium Energy Japan" makes sure its research and development are always one step ahead, that its selection of products and production capacity is continually expanding, and that it remains a constant contributor to the expansion of the lithium-ion battery market.”

http://lithiumenergy.jp/en/corporate/index.html


GS Yuasa has developed a new high capacity Lithium-ion cell and battery module for electric vehicle (EV) applications. The new cell and battery are based on the “LIM series” of large-sized Lithium-ion batteries manufactured by GS Yuasa [1, 2] and use a similar construction and electrode materials.”

http://www.x-cd.com/EVS23CD/pdfs/166.pdf
So what's the timeline of these FANTASTIC news? When is the Lithium Ion battery plug-in be really available for sale to the common public here in the USA? And have they completed testing the safety of these compared to that of A123's iron phosphate? And how are the recharge cycle lifetime of the close partners of Toyota's supposedly fantastic Lithium Ion batteries? Any data aside from speculation?




Summary:

I feel I have established that Toyota is going to use lithium-ion batteries in the plug-in Prius that is scheduled to be released around the same time as the Volt. I have also established clear relationships that show Toyota has access to high volumes of advanced lithium-ion batteries. Thus, it think it is unwise to discount Toyota in the plug-in hybrid race. I look forward to evaluating both the Prius and the Volt when they hit the showroom floor. The stakes are high. Who will deliver on time and who will falter?
Okay, I'm not much of a gambler, but for the sake of bragging rights, let's put a token $1 bet, to be sent to the winner of the bet on December 1, 2010:
My bet: Using only pure electric mode, the Toyota Prius that will be released in 2010 will not able to match up or exceed the speed and range of the Volt that will be released in 2010.

Cheers man! These are all just speculations.
 
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