TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. says it has developed a new way of observing the movements of tiny particles in a battery used to power electric vehicles — an advance it says will help boost their cruise range by 10 percent to 15 percent.
Toyota engineer Hisao Yamashige explained to reporters Thursday at the Japanese automaker's Tokyo office the complex method for tracking the lithium ions, which are tiny particles in lithium-ion batteries, also used in laptops and smartphones.
Increasing cruise range is the biggest obstacle for electric vehicles, especially because powering stations aren't as common as gas stations.
Toyota is more bullish about fuel-cell vehicles, which are expensive but can deliver the same cruise range as gas engines. Yamashige said there is no change to that overall company policy.