Lexus Waits for Next-Generation Battery Technology to Power Hybrids

Lexus hybrid engine

Lexus will not be switching to lithium-ion batteries to power their hybrids, and will instead continue to use nickel-metal hydride batteries — here’s Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International, talking with Hans Greimel of Automotive News:

“We feel like we need to get to the next generation of batteries,” Templin said at a July 10 launch event for the Lexus IS sedan. “Lithium ion doesn’t bring enough positive return. You have to leapfrog the current technology to get to the next generation of battery technology.”

That could happen by around 2020, he suggested.

“In our world, that’s pretty quick. That’s almost a product cycle,” Templin said. “A lot of the German luxury car life cycles are seven, eight years. That’s one cycle of their cars, and we’ll be in different technology.”

There are plenty of options — for example, Toyota is experimenting with magnesium batteries, and estimates it may be ready around 2020. Beyond batteries, there’s also a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the horizon — it may be more than just hybrid technology powering the next-generation of Lexus vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News]