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Toyota in hybrid battery switch

The world's biggest carmaker will expand lithium-ion battery production to boost fuel economy and enable it to produce smaller vehicles, the Japan Times reported, citing knowledgable sources. Toyota Motor (TM) will spend about $195 mil to boost production of lithium-ion batteries, used in consumer electronics like smartphones. It uses nickel-metal hydride batteries in its Prius and other hybrids, but will boost lithium-ion battery production to 200,000 units from 36,000 to replace them. Shares rose 0.8%.