Hybrid cars that can recharge their batteries by plugging into electrical outlets could enable nearly gas-free commutes and even provide extra storage on the electrical grid, but they’re not yet commercially available. This year, however, Toyota Prius owners will be able to turn their cars into plug-ins by installing a new battery pack from A123 Systems, a company based in Watertown, MA. The pack stores five kilowatt-hours of electricity and uses a new nanostructured electrode material that makes high-capacity lithium-ion batteries safe enough for automotive use.
Cost: Under $10,000
Other Products in this section:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Self-driving cars take the wheel
Advanced technologies come together to get autonomous vehicles driving safely and efficiently.
Reality regained: An inquiry into the data age
The explosion of data and advances in computing power are radically transforming daily life.
AI is reinventing the way we invent
The biggest impact of artificial intelligence will be to help humans make discoveries we couldn’t make on our own.