Toyota is reportedly planning to launch an EV equipped with solid-state battery technology in Japan by 2022.
A report in the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper suggests that the new battery technology would facilitate quicker charging and longer range than the current lithium-ion batteries that are used for most EVs.
The report said that a full charge can be achieved in minutes for solid-state batteries.
The report notes that an all solid-state battery promises around twice the amount of held charge of the lithium-ion battery and that Toyota has been researching solid-state batteries for many years. The company announced last year that it discovered a solid material suitable for electrolytes in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technology and others.
The report also said that Toyota is planning a new EV platform for the new set-up.
The newspaper also noted that a full EV based on the compact crossover/SUV hybrid C-HR will be produced and sold in China by 2019 using existing lithium-ion battery technology.
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Solid-state batteries use a solid rather than liquid for the electrolyte that acts as the pathway for ions during charging and discharging. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, there is no risk of liquid leakage and thermal management is more straightforward, in theory. The main advantage, however, is higher energy density and a better power-to-weight ratio, compared with lithium-ion batteries, thus making them especially suitable for electric vehicles.
Bosch sees the potential to more than double battery energy density through the deployment of solid-state batteries. A comparable electric car that has a driving range today of 150 kilometres would be able to travel more than 300 kilometres without recharging, reckons the supplier.
Analysts caution that developing reliable solid-state battery technology for mass production applications still presents a considerable challenge for vehicle manufacturers. However, Toyota’s apparent commitment to get a solid-state battery equipped vehicle to market by 2022 is sure to spark further interest in the technology among other OEMs and suppliers. Volkswagen Group is also working on solid-state battery technology.
Toyota is planning to raise its game in full EVs, seen as a future high growth area where it currently trails Nissan.
See also: Toyota to produce EVs in China from 2019