Sci-tech

Toyota EVs With Long-Range Solid-State Batteries Due 2022

Toyota EVs With Long-Range Solid-State Batteries Due 2022

A new report in Japan's Chunichi Shimbun claims Toyota is working on a new type of battery that will allow for significantly increased driving range and reduced charging time.

While the Japanese automaker doesn't seem to have many EVs in the pipeline, it has now confirmed that it plans to be among the first automakers to commercialize electric cars using new solid-state batteries. The use of new solid-state batteries is a big change from the lithium-ion batteries that now power today's EVs. The Chunichi Shimbun reported that Toyota's battery will be able to charge in a few minutes and have a long range, but the article did not list specifics.

Existing electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries which need up to 30 minutes to recharge even with faster charging systems in place. The downside is that they're still very expensive to manufacture on a mass scale. Toyota's reticence about pure electrics has been linked to insufficient range now offered by lithium-ion batteries, making their use unappealing in smaller cars. The move to solid state would help make room for more gains in terms of charge capacity achieved in the footprint available in consumer vehicles, while helping to push further existing efficiencies achieved through things like the use of ultra-light materials in auto frames and interiors. In both companies' cases, the road to commercialization is expected to be long, but it is viewed as the next major evolutionary step in energy storage, one that could effectively make lithium-ion batteries (and exploding smartphones) obsolete.

Toyota isn't saying yet where its batteries will end up, but any edge here is bound to be a big boon for automakers looking at a future that increasingly seems like it'll be dominated by EVs.


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