Toyota Claims Battery Breakthrough For EVs

Japanese car maker Toyota has touted what could be a ‘holy grail’ moment for electric vehicles (EVs) in the years ahead.

The Guardian newspaper reported that on Tuesday Toyota claimed its solid-state battery, expected in EVs in 2027, should deliver a range of 745 miles and will charge in just ten minutes.

The astonishing claim comes after the Japanese car maker has faced criticism for its late move into pure EVs, despite it first launching the groundbreaking hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius, all the way back in 1997.

Toyota claim

So what exactly is Toyota claiming?

Well the car maker has claimed it had simplified the production of the material used to make solid-state batteries.

The world’s second largest carmaker is already planning to deliver cars with solid-state batteries by 2025, the Guardian reported.

But now Toyota says it has made a technological breakthrough that will allow it to halve the weight, size and cost of batteries.

“For both our liquid and our solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive,” Keiji Kaita, president of the Japanese auto firm’s research and development centre for carbon neutrality was quoted by the Guardian as saying. “In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors.”

Kaita reported said Toyota has developed ways to make batteries more durable, and believed it could now make a solid-state battery with a range of 1,200 km (745 miles) that could charge in 10 minutes or less and would be simpler to manufacture than a conventional lithium-ion battery.

This is a pretty bold claim, but if correct, could be a breakthrough moment for EVs.

Indeed David Bailey, a professor of business economics at the University of Birmingham, told the Guardian newspaper that if Toyota’s claims were founded, it could be a landmark moment for the future of electric cars.

“Often there are breakthroughs at the prototype stage but then scaling it up is difficult,” he was quoted as saying. “If it is a genuine breakthrough it could be a gamechanger, very much the holy grail of battery vehicles.”

2027 arrival

The Financial Times, which first reported on the Toyota’s alleged breakthrough, reported that the car maker expects to be able to manufacture the advanced solid-state batteries as soon as 2027.

The Guardian meanwhile noted that solid-state batteries already promise to reduce charging times, increase capacity, and reduce the fire risk associated with lithium-ion batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte.

However, solid-state batteries have typically been harder and costlier to make, limiting their commercial application, the newspaper stated.

Toyota reportedly said it believed it can simplify the production process, potentially making solid-state batteries easier to produce than lithium-ion ones.

Whether Toyota’s breakthrough claim will actually result in the actual manufacturing of EVs with that type of range, remains to be seen.

And it should be noted that the reports did not address other EV worries, such as energy density, charge and discharge rates, number of possible charging cycles, and how the solid state batteries perform in real world cold temperatures.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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