Toyota Hybrid battery outpaced by demand

June 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
TOKYO (AP) - Toyota is struggling to keep up with booming demand for hybrid vehicles because it's unable to make enough batteries that are key parts in the hit "green" cars.

That's according to Toyota Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, who oversees production at Japan's top automaker.

Uchiyamada says the crunch on battery production is likely to stay for the rest of the year, as new lines can't be added to boost production until next year.

Battery production is critical in determining how many hybrid vehicles Toyota can produce.

Hybrids -- including Toyota's hybrid top-seller Prius -- offer better mileage than comparable regular cars by switching between a gas engine and an electric motor.

Toyota leads the world's automakers in hybrids sold.