TOKYO: A Toyota Motor trading company said on Wednesday that it would join a project to tap lithium deposits in Argentina, securing supplies for the auto giant’s hybrid and electric cars. Toyota Tsusho Corp said it would team up with Australia’s Orocobre Ltd to develop the project in the Salar de Olaroz salt lake in northwestern Argentina, becoming the first Japanese firm to acquire rights to extract lithium. The sole trading company of the Toyota group wants to start tapping from 2012. The deal comes as Toyota prepares to ramp up production of hybrid vehicles, which use lithium batteries, to meet the robust global demand for green vehicles.