From: Milton on

Must be a dollar to be made in making batteries. Obviously, Hybrids are here
to stay and Honda are even making hybrid motorcycles.

Toshiba is the latest electronic company to confirm it is developing
lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications.

The head of Toshiba's battery division, Ryuichi Nakata told Reuters news
agency the company was looking to team up with a number of car makers to
develop batteries for pure electric and hybrid petrol-electric cars of the

The move follows similar ones by rivals Sanyo and Panasonic. Sanyo recently
announced a tie-up with Suzuki, while Panasonic is working with the world's
leading car maker, Toyota, on lithium-ion battery technology.

The first plug-in electric vehicles are beginning to hit the streets
overseas and a number of carmakers, including Nissan, Mitsubishi and Holden,
are planning to launch EVs - albeit in limited numbers - in Australia over
the next two years.

The production of rechargeable batteries is expected to increase five-fold
in the next five years.

Toshiba is taking a different path to Panasonic by choosing multiple
automotive partners.

"Our strategy is to compete in an open market rather than doing business
one-on-one," Nakata told Reuters.

Toshiba recently won a contract to supply batteries to Honda for electric



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