Toyota continues to lead the silent race to efficient cars with plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid in 2010 that will use lithium-ion batteries. Meanwhile, Toyota has been working with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co to develop batteries that will outperform lithium-ion batteries for its plans to introduce hybrid versions of every single car
in its lineup between 2020 and 2029. If that seems too far away, the next generation Prius
, due next year, will use NiMH batteries. Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters in Tokyo that it's time to move past oil and get serious about electric power. "Our view is that oil production will peak in the near future. We need to develop power train(s) for alternative energy sources."