Lexus would not rush to use lithium ion batteries on its hybrid units even as rival carmakers continue to shift to these lighter power sources, according to Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International. Templin remarked during the launch event for the Lexus IS that lithium ion batteries don't bring enough benefits to justify a shift from the nickel-metal hydride batteries Lexus has been using for around eight years
He remarked that Lexus will have to bypass lithium ion batteries since they don’t bring enough positive return. He noted that Lexus will have to “leapfrog the current technology” to get to the next generation of batteries, which could occur by around 2020. He remarked that the transition to next generation of batteries is pretty quick, as it would only take nearly a product cycle.
Templin noted that a German luxury car has a life cycle of around seven to eight years. He said that in one cycle of the luxury cars of German carmakers, Lexus would be in “different technology." Toyota Motor Corp. has limitedly used lithium ion batteries in its units while Lexus uses none.
On the other hand, rival carmakers like BMW AG, Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Volkswagen AG have already shifted to using lithium ion batteries, which is lighter and more powerful than nickel-metal hydride batteries, but are more expensive.