Do you love the concept of the Toyota Prius Prime, but wish it had more power? Your wishes are about to come true. Toyota recently announced that the future Toyota Prius Prime batteries will be lithium-ion, allowing the Japanese carmaker to finally enter the all-electric car market.
The Prius Prime, which is the brand’s plug-in electric version of the hybrid Prius, will have these new batteries to allow it to go 37.3 miles on a single charge before the vehicle’s gasoline engine kicks in.
While lithium-ion batteries have been in use in the automotive industry for almost a decade, Toyota has avoided using them to due to the battery’s volatile nature. These types of batteries are known for being unstable, and are to blame for recent Samsung smartphones catching fire. Because of this, Toyota has been working to tame the lithium-ion battery and has finally succeeded, which means the Prius Prime will have more power with no significant extra cost.
“It’s a tall order to develop a lithium-ion car battery which can perform reliably and safely for 10 years, or over hundreds of thousands of kilometers,” said Koji Toyoshima, the chief engineer for the Prius. “We have double braced and triple braced our battery pack to make sure they’re fail-safe… It’s all about safety, safety, safety.”
To keep Toyota Prius Prime owners safe, the Japanese carmaker has improved the process of the battery cell assembly. This ensures that the battery chemistry is free impurities, keeping it safer and less volatile.