Toyota's breakthrough in battery technology
Toyota has achieved a significant breakthrough in the development of solid-state batteries. The company believes that it can overcome the usual trade-off of shorter battery life when it starts mass-producing these batteries in 2027. Solid-state batteries have long been seen as a potential game-changer for electric vehicles. Unlike traditional batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte, solid-state batteries have a gel-like electrolyte, although Toyota does not disclose the specific material used.
One advantage of a gel-based electrolyte is that it is considered safer and more stable. Additionally, the gel allows ions to move more quickly, and solid-state batteries have a higher tolerance for higher voltages and temperatures. This is particularly beneficial for rapid charging, as Toyota estimates that it will take less than 10 minutes to charge a battery from 10 to 80 percent state of charge using these new solid-state batteries. Furthermore, these batteries offer a 20 percent increase in driving range, approximately 620 miles, and improved durability. Originally intended for use in hybrids, Toyota is now confident enough to focus on implementing these solid-state batteries in battery electric vehicles from the start.
In addition to solid-state technology, Toyota has also introduced a new range of advanced liquid-electrolyte batteries. These batteries, named Performance, Popularisation, and High-performance, utilize different chemistries. The latter two batteries incorporate a new bipolar battery structure, resulting in improved performance, range, fast charging, reduced weight, and improved aerodynamics. For example, the Performance battery, based on lithium-ion technology, is expected to reduce production costs for the all-electric bZ4x SUV by 20 percent, increase its range to 497 miles, and decrease rapid charging time to less than 20 minutes.
Takero Kato, the president of Toyota's new production facility, emphasizes the importance of offering various battery options to cater to different models and customer needs. Toyota predicts that next-generation models will account for 1.7 million of the 3.5 million battery electric vehicles the company plans to sell globally by 2030.
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