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Toyota Announces EV Battery Breakthrough

Toyota has made a technological advance that might reduce the weight, size, and price of batteries by half.

Toyota Motor Corp said Tuesday it has achieved a technological breakthrough enabling a potential halving of the weight, size and cost of batteries, signaling a significant advancement for electric vehicles.

What Happened: The Japanese carmaker said has streamlined production of the material used in batteries and considers the discovery a significant leap forward that has the potential to reduce charging durations and enhance driving range significantly, the Financial Times reported.  

“For both our liquid and solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive,” the Financial Times quoted Keiji Kaita, president of Toyota’s research and development center for carbon neutrality, as saying.

“In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors.”

IN FILE – A Toyota hydrogen fuel cell bus is on display during the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2021) at National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) on April 19, 2021 in Shanghai, China. The weight, size, and price of batteries may be reduced by half, according to Toyota Motor Corp.’s announcement on Tuesday. This represents a significant development for electric vehicles. LONG WEI/VCG GETTY IMAGES

Kaita added the company discovered ways to address the durability problems from about three years ago and now has enough confidence to mass-produce solid-state batteries in EVs by 2027 or 2028.

According to the report, Toyota said it has made a “technological breakthrough” in addressing durability concerns and finding a solution for materials, enabling an electric vehicle powered by a solid-state battery to achieve a range of 1,200 km and a charging time of 10 minutes or less.

“All of our members are highly motivated and are working with the intention to launch” the technology by the promised timeline, Kaita said. 

Why It Matters: Solid-state batteries are widely regarded as a transformative technology for electric vehicles, offering the potential to decrease charging times, enhance capacity and mitigate the fire risk associated with traditional lithium-ion batteries that utilize a liquid electrolyte.

Analysts have suggested that solid-state batteries could be a watershed development for Toyota, which has lagged behind competitors in the electric vehicle market, helping the company close the gap with Tesla Inc, the Financial Times reported. 

Toyota’s shares have experienced a 13% increase since the announcement of its solid-state battery plan last month. 

The outlet quoted Hiroki Nakajima, the chief technology officer, cautioning that the company does not view this technology as the definitive solution for battery challenges.

Nakajima has emphasized that there is still room for improvement in liquid-based batteries. He has also said that the core of the competition in EV batteries will ultimately revolve around the value added to the car as a product and the ability to manage the overall battery volume and utilization effectively.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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