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.
Subscribe to Continue Reading
Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.
$179.95/yr US PRICE
What Happens When Robots Become Role Models
Children can find their behavior shaped by robotic companions—so let’s not screw them up.
Getting computers to beat humans at games is impressive. But now the real work begins.
Self-driving trucks are an experiment, and we’re the guinea pigs.