• Reuters

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Toyota Motor Corp. said it aims to develop a new, more advanced electric car battery “in a few years” that will allow it to improve driving range and battery life by up to 15 percent.

Such performance-enhanced lithium-ion battery technology will likely enable all its electrified vehicles to be improved, Toyota said.

“(The) lithium-ion battery is a key technology for electrifying cars, and there is a clear need, going forward, for improving this technology and its performance even more,” Hisao Yamashige, a battery technology researcher at Toyota, told a media briefing in Tokyo on Thursday.

Improving the performance of lithium-ion battery technology is a pressing issue for traditional automakers such as Toyota and new entrants like Tesla Motors Inc.

Producers of EVs, plug-in electric hybrids and conventional gas-electric hybrids are all striving to source or develop more advanced battery technologies to give their vehicles a better driving range, battery life and safety.

Toyota, Japan’s biggest automaker by volume, has pioneered gasoline-electric hybrid technology and is gearing up to launch a new, nearly all electric plug-in hybrid called the Prius Prime. It also has recently said it is aiming to come up with an all-electric battery car by 2020.

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