They are expensive because the high cost of the lithium ion batteries keeps electric cars from penetrating the mass market.
Over the past three years, Toyota secretly tested lithium ion batteries as a potential replacement for the nickel metal hydride batteries now used in the Prius, according to a Bloomberg report
In its tests, Toyota concluded that lithium ion batteries were safe and reliable, but the higher cost doesn’t justify a complete shift over for Toyota’s hybrids, executives said. As a result, the company will remain with nickel-based batteries for most of its hybrid cars, according to the report.
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