Japanese car manufacturer Katsuaki Watanabe has announced plans for the company to release the first vehicles in 2010 to feature lithium-ion batteries and plug-in technology.
In the present Toyota and the Japanese company Matsushita, which manufactures brands such as Panasonic and Technics, is testing the possibility of mass-producing lightweight and durable lithium-ion batteries to replace current nickel-metal hydride batteries.
The innovative components have been tested on the roads of Japan, California and some European countries. Cars announced for 2010 are equipped with an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. However, unlike the currently available hybrids, their batteries can be charged from the mains via a simple plug.