Now is an exciting time in the motor industry, and Toyota has lots of new innovations coming down the line which will provide lots of options for zero emissions driving. We are leading battery technology development and have over twenty years of battery expertise through working on our self-charging hybrid electric batteries. You might have heard of Solid State Battery Electric Vehicles, which will be the next big game-changer for sustainable driving, and which we have been working on for the last few years, alongside our hybrid-electric range.
What is Solid State?
So, what is solid-state battery technology you ask? Well, as the name would suggest, a solid-state battery consists of, well, solid electrolytes as opposed to liquid. Our prototype batteries are about the size and thickness of a thin spiral back notebook. Solid-state battery technology is a potential cure-all for the drawbacks facing electric vehicles that run on conventional lithium-ion batteries, including the relatively short distance travelled on a single charge as well as charging times.
Solid-state batteries are set to become a real alternative to lithium-ion batteries, and we’re focused on using a sulfur-based electrolyte in our prototypes as it provides a more efficient power transfer. They would lower the risk of fires, and multiply energy density, which measures the energy a battery can deliver compared to its weight. Next-generation batteries, such as solid-state and metal-air batteries, are safer and demonstrate higher performance than lithium-ion batteries.
Toyota & Solid State
Toyota are in a leading position in terms of achieving the first functional mass-produced solid-state battery and we are planning to be the first company to sell an electric vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery by mid-2020s.
We have been working on this since 2012 with over 200+ highly decorated and skilled engineers working tirelessly to produce these batteries. And it’s coming to fruition as we now have over 1,000 solid state battery patents – more than any other car maker.
What does it mean for drivers?
So, what does this mean from an end users point of view? A trip of 700 km on one charge. A recharge from zero to full in roughly 10-15 minutes. All with minimal safety concerns. The solid-state battery being introduced by Toyota promises to be a game changer not just for electric vehicles but for an entire industry. The electric vehicles being developed will have a range more than twice the distance of a vehicle running on a conventional lithium-ion battery under the same conditions. All accomplished without sacrificing interior space in even the most compact vehicle.
Toyota is developing the solid-state batteries through Prime Planet Energy & Solutions Inc., a joint venture with Panasonic that started operations in April 2020 and has about 5,100 employees, including 2,400 at a Chinese subsidiary. We are on track for limited production by 2025 and looking forward to sharing more details when the time is right.