According to Bloomberg report, Toyota is had at work developing a magnesium battery for their future hybrid models. The magnesium-sulfar alternative to lithium models is being developed at the carmaker’s technical center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while the Toyota research centres in Japan work on other ideas for powering electric cars and hybrids
Going from nickel-metal hydride to lithium ion, you essentially double the energy capacity. Lithium ion theoretically, under ideal conditions, has a capacity of about 2,000 kilowatt hours. That’s still not enough to really make a very competitive battery that’s necessary for future plug-in, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles,” said Jeffrey Makarewicz, the engineer managing the U.S. project.
We shouldn’t expect the new tech to arrive any time soon - lithium-ion batteries aren’t going anywhere as magnesium battery powered vehicles are still a good decade away, Makarewicz said.
Toyota has been the pack leader when it comes to hybrid cars for a long time, but it’s lacking a fully electric model in the range. Nissan and GM have both launched rechargeable vehicles that use lithium-ion packs in the past few months. But Toyota wants its batteries to offer twice as much juice as their competitors.
In the meantime the company is hedging its bets with hybrid models, as Toyota expects “much more modest” demand for battery-only vehicles during the next few years because of power-pack limitations, said Bob Carter, US group vice president. In the same time period Nissan is targeting global annual sales of at least 500,000 battery-powered LEAFs and models from affiliate Renault.