Toyota updates 1990s battery cell technology for latest hybrid cars: Report
Toyota is among the frontrunners when it comes to developing hybrid cars. The Toyota Prius hybrid has remained one of the game-changers for the brand and in the global hybrid car market as well. The Toyota Prius hybrid has been using the same battery cell technology that debuted back in the 1990s.
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Now, the automaker is ready to introduce new technology to the Prius and other hybrid cars of the OEM. The first Toyota Prius hybrid came with a nickel-metal hydride battery. Since then it has been updated into Toyota's new bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery technology, which debuted with the updated Aqua or Prius C earlier in 2021.
The new bipolar battery is claimed to deliver 1.5 times the power output of the old technology. Also, this new technology allows 1.4 times extra battery cells in the same space, allowing more energy density.
The Japanese automaker started working on this new technology back in 2016. This technology uses the same space but provides twice the output, claimed group manager of Toyota’s advanced battery development division, Motoyoshi Okumura in interaction with Auto News.
Okumura said that the public has the image that nickel-metal hydride batteries are old technology but actually they are not. “We started developing this new type of nickel-metal hydride battery because, after 20 years of using it, there was a record of achievement. But the basic design has not changed significant. So we decided to take on the challenge of increasing the output," he also added.
The report also claims that Toyota will use this same bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery for its hybrid vehicles that require quick bursts of power. The automaker believes that using lithium-ion makes more sense for all-electric vehicles that require larger energy storage.
The Japanese car brand is now working on a new generation of lithium-ion batteries. Besides that, it is also working on solid-state batteries, which are claimed to be more efficient and powerful than conventional lithium-ion batteries. As the car manufacturer believes, in order to achieve carbon neutrality, it is very important to maintain a wide variety of options.