Toyota is getting closer than ever to mass-producing solid-state batteries for EV models. The breakthrough could be a game-changer as it will offer increased range and faster charging. If you’re currently disappointed at the lack of EV models in your Toyota locator, it likely won’t be long before Toyota is leading the pack.
Toyota Announces Idemitsu Kosan Partnership
Toyota recently announced it had entered into a partnership with Japanese company Idemitsu Kosan to develop the technology for mass-producing solid electrolytes. This partnership puts Toyota in a great position to be the first automaker to offer mass production of solid-state batteries for EVs.
Solid-state batteries are often touted as a game-changer for the EV market as they would fix some of the more serious concerns with electric transportation as it stands right now. Toyota has hinted that upcoming models with these batteries could offer up to 745 miles of range and charging times could be drastically reduced to something like 10 minutes.
A solid-state battery would also have a better lifespan due to the use of solid materials instead of liquid. Toyota expects full-scale mass production of these batteries to begin sometime after 2027 or 2028.
More Work To Do
Idemitsu Kosan has apparently been working on this battery technology since 2001. In that time, the company has developed sulfide solid electrolytes. These are touted as promising materials that will help EVs achieve high output and capacity. The other interesting factor is that they’re made with by-products from petroleum refining.
The joint venture between Toyota and Idemitsu Koasan will determine whether the solid-state technology can reach a point of mass production. Things like cost, quality, and lead times are important factors in the mass production and mass adoption of solid-state batteries.
Toyota engineers are confident right now that they are edging ever closer to rolling out the new technology by 2027 or 2028 and then achieving mass production sometime after that. There’s a good chance that you will see a lot more EV inventory from Toyota when you check the Toyota locator in the future.
Good News and Bad News
As with a lot of the news that surrounds EVs, there are some downsides to this revelation. Solid-state battery technology might do wonders for range and charging times for EVs, but they’re also a lot harder to recycle. Unlike the current liquid batteries, solid-state batteries have strongly fused solid material inside, which makes them very difficult to separate for recycling purposes.
Manufacturers will have to find a way to get smart about alternative uses for solid-state batteries that can no longer power a vehicle. However, solid-state batteries are estimated to have a much longer useful life than current batteries, which are already outperforming original estimates.
Toyota isn’t the only automaker working toward the mass production of solid-state batteries. Nissan and Ford are two other big players that are also working on this technology for the future. Right now, there aren’t many EV models on the Toyota locator, but that should change in the near future.
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