Sunday, September 09, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, September 4 2007] Korea Lags Japan in Hybrid Car Battery Tech

Toyota announced on Sunday that it's planning to introduce its Lexus hybrid sedan in Korea for around W200 million (US$1=W937). Hybrid cars are powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric battery. With increased fuel efficiency, the eco-friendly hybrids are currently in the limelight.


While Japan is focused on developing NiMH batteries, the domestic industry is pouring its effort into lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Currently most batteries used in mobile phones and laptops are now being replaced with Li-ion batteries.

However, according to statistics from the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) on Monday, between 1999 and 2005, Korean companies applied for less than 200 patents related to Li-ion batteries, about 10 percent of the Li-ion applications filed in Japan. Even worse, there is wide gap between the two nations not only in quantity but also in quality.

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