Low-cost makes lead-acid a 'keeper' among automakers

Mar 01, 2010 | 04:56 AM | Tatyana Shumsky

As tighter emission control regulations push the automotive industry to create the hybrid and electric fleets of the future, automakers are increasingly focusing their attention on new technologies to meet the increased power demands of those vehicles. Lead-acid batteries may not be mentioned often when automakers talk about the hybrid and electric car fleets of the tomorrow but they remain a core part of emerging designs due to cost efficiency.

"Toyota does believe that hybrid is the future. It sounds a bit dramatic, but going forward it is our core strategy," Jaycie Chitwood, manager of alternative technology vehicles at Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., said.

Part of Toyota's strategy to deepen market penetration is to offer more hybrid models and hybrid versions of conventional vehicles, as well as to continue paring the premium customers have to pay for hybrids. While Toyota doesn't make a conventional version of the Prius, the basic 2010 Camry starts at $21,195 while the hybrid version of the sedan is priced at $26,900—a premium of $5,705, or nearly 27 percent, over the conventional model.....





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