Toyota has confirmed that the commercialisation of the first plug-in hybrid on the European, North American and Japan market will be available from 2010. From next year, the batteries (lithium ion) will be made in a joint venture with Matsushita.
According to Reuters, the batteries can be recharged by plugging in to a normal household socket. The developments are not limited just to this however, as the Japanese giant has created a new research and development department that is studying other Li-ion solutions for the future autonomy of cars and household appliances.
From 2010 the manufacturer is counting on selling one million hybrids a year, thanks to the differentiation achieved: the next Prius is expected (which will offer for the first time some changes in bodywork and size), and the broadening of the range of other models’ engines.
As Carlos Ghosn had said last week, Nissan hopes to beat global competition in the race for the no-emission vehicle, starting production on a series of lithium ion batteries ready from 2009.
According to Automative News, for the first year we’ll see about 13,000 units, a figure set to increase to 65,000 for 2011. From 2010, sales of the electric cars will start in Japan and the US, followed in 2011 by Denmark and Israel, then the rest of the world in the year following.
General Motors and Toyota are also active on the battery front, but Nissan - at least on its word - has been the first to announce large scale production, making us think that rivals will find it difficult to catch up by 2010.