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Magnesium battery over lithium is under development

LONDON (Metal-Pages) 11-Jan-11. Toyota Motors this week said it is developing a magnesium battery that has twice the energy of lithium-ion cells as car makers seek alternatives to power electric cars.

The company’s technical centre in the United States is working on the magnesium-sulphur battery, complementing development of other future electric-power chemistries at Toyota labs in Japan.

“Going from nickel-metal hydride to lithium ion, you essentially double the energy capacity,” according to a company official.

Lithium ion has a capacity of about 2,000 kilowatt hours, he said.

Vehicles with magnesium batteries or alternative materials may be ready by about 2020, he said.

Nissan wants its Leaf car to be the world’s top-selling all-electric car, targeting annual world sales of at least 500,000 battery-powered cars such as Leaf and models from French affiliate Renault within the next few years.

Toyota is also looking at aluminium and calcium as potential battery materials, he said. In Japan, company engineers are researching “lithium air and metal air” batteries, he said, without elaborating. 

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