Even before its first production vehicle ships with a lithium ion battery, Toyota is already making plans for the next wave of energy storage technology. We expect to see Toyota and Lexus products with lithium ion packs sometime around 2010, and Toyota is said to believe that the technology will last about twenty years. Therefore, a replacement will be needed around 2030. For this reason, Toyota has set up a new team of fifty people this month to begin working on the next-next generation of electric power, which could use chemical batteries, capacitors or some combination of the two.

Whatever the next technology for energy storage turns out to be, Toyota doesn't want to be caught off guard. Considering that battery supply is already one limiting factor when it comes to how many hybrid vehicles the Japanese giant can produce, we are hardly shocked that Toyota has plans to stay on the cutting edge in battery technology.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]