Lithium Technology Corporation has unveiled a new line of batteries to be used in electric and hybrid vehicles. Made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells, LTC is confident that they could transform a 46MPG Prius into a 125MPG green machine.
“Batteries made of LTC's cells can provide 3000 charging cycles, which would be able to do 150,000 miles to 80% capacity for a 100 km or 60 mile all electric range plug in hybrid, which no other technology can claim,’ said Dr. Andrew Frank, Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of California, Davis.”
However, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates of fuel economy for vehicles in 2008, as compared to 2007, are less than favorable to hybrid cars. Nonetheless, lower estimates for the modified Prius’ are still around the 100MPG+ mark.
In the mean time, however, Toyota seems to be wary of the new technology and will probably not equip their new line of hybrid vehicles with the litium batteries until later on.
"A potential widespread recall due to the batteries used in its high-profile Prius could do some serious damage to the company's reputation."