Excerpted from Wikipedia
The NiMH EV-95 battery used by Toyota in their short-lived RAV4 EV lease vehicle of the early 2000s, is, typically, not available.
Chevron had inherited control of the worldwide patent rights for the NiMH EV-95 battery when it merged with Texaco, which had purchased them from General Motors. Chevron’s unit won a USD 30,000,000 settlement from Toyota and Panasonic, and the production line for these large NiMH batteries was closed down and dismantled.
This case was settled in the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and not publicised due to a gag order placed on all parties involved. Only smaller NiMH batteries, incapable of powering an electric vehicle or plugging in, are currently allowed by Chevron-Texaco.
In July 2009, Cobasys NiMH division (Chevron-Texaco), was sold to a Bosch and Sanyo consortium, but still retained the patent rights and collect royalties on the batteries. (See Patent encumbrance of large automotive NiMH batteries on Wikipedia).
Further enticement NB!
China has set an industrial policy with the objective of becoming the largest EV developer and manufacturer in the world, enabling the country to leapfrog internal combustion engine (ICE) technology and go straight to electric transport. China is the world’s second largest consumer of oil behind the U.S., which historically has led the ICE vehicle market, and ahead of Japan, the leader in hybrid technology. By 2020, China is expected to rely on 65% of foreign oil imports.
China will subsidize buyers of battery-powered cars and plug-in hybrids under a pilot program aimed at keeping the country competitive in the global race to develop an electric-vehicle industry, but which also risks a public backlash. Buyers of electric vehicles will receive up to 60,000 yuan ($8,800), and buyers of certain gasoline-electric hybrids as much as 50,000 yuan, under the two-year program set to start this year in five cities—Shanghai, Hangzhou, Changchun, Shenzhen and Hefei—the ministry of finance said Tuesday.
All-electric e6 vehicles made by BYD charge up in Shenzhen, where the cars are used as taxis. BYD is in position to benefit from China’s electric-car subsidies. Similar subsidy programs already are offered or are being rolled out in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Electric-car producers in China, such as Shenzhen-based BYD Co., assume the program will be expanded to other cities over time. Auto industry executives said the subsidies are likely to apply only to vehicles produced in China, although that wasn’t clear from the government notice. BYD is already in a position to take advantage of the subsidies. The company launched its all-electric e6 taxis in the southern city of Shenzhen earlier this year. BYD also recently said it has sealed an agreement with Daimler AG of Germany to set up a 50-50 joint venture to develop an all-electric car for the Chinese market.