We reported on how Toyota is late to the electric car revolution just yesterday. 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.
A report from the Chunichi Shimbun daily (via Reuters) suggested that Toyota is on track to launch a new electric car platform in 2022 with solid-state batteries powering the vehicles and enabling longer ranges and faster charging.
The company didn’t comment on the specific platform, but they did confirm that they plan “to commercialize all-solid-state batteries by the early 2020s.”
Solid-state batteries are thought to be a lot safer than common li-ion cells and could have more potential for higher energy density, but we have yet to see a company capable of producing it in large-scale and at an attractive price point competitive with li-ion.
Several companies have since invested to bring them to market, like Dyson with the acquisition of Michigan-based solid-state battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and plans to build an important $1 billion battery factory, which has so far not materialized. Bosch is also investing in the technology, which it believes will allow 50 kWh battery packs (~200+ miles for a compact vehicle) to weigh less than 200 kgor about half the current weight of similar packs.
Some automakers have also been testing the battery technology for their electric cars, like Hyundai who reportedly started pilot production of next-gen solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
Those working on the technology have stayed vague about a timeline for commercialization, but despite its seemingly far away timeline of “the early 2020s”, it looks like Toyota aims to be among the first to use the technology in electric vehicles.
As we reported yesterday, it looks like the company still aims to enter the all-electric car market without the technology – starting with the mass production of electric cars in China before the end of the decade.