Carmaker Toyota will make big investition in solid-state batteries

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World’s largest carmaker Toyota announced will invest ¥1.5tn ($13.6bn) in battery development and supply over the next decade. Executives said the company, which has a partnership with Tesla supplier Panasonic, also remained on track to develop next generation solid-state batteries, next-generation lithium ion power packs, by 2025. Solid-state batteries offer faster charging times, more travel range and are safer than the current generation of batteries that use liquid solutions. “We can’t be optimistic yet and there are challenges,” said Masahiko Maeda, Toyota’s chief technology officer, at a briefing on Tuesday. The company is considering using the solid-state batteries not only in pure EVs but also in hybrid vehicles. Toyota did not disclose any plans for battery plants or the geographical breakdown of its investment plan. Toyota also expects further gains from a newly developed structure for older-generation nickel-metal hydride batteries. This so-called bipolar structure allows for a doubling of the power density and was deployed this summer in the redesigned Toyota Aqua compact hybrid.

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The battery that will be used in Toyota’s upcoming full-electric crossover, the bZ4X, will be able to maintain 90 percent of its battery performance after a decade of use, the carmaker expects. Toyota plans to sell 8 million electrified vehicles in 2030, including 2 million battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.