Toyota's solid-state battery breakthrough will reduce costs and size by 50 percent

Japanese auto-giant claims solid-state batteries will offer a range of 745 miles, and can be topped up in 10 minutes.
Jijo Malayil
Toyota plans to put a freeze on EV battery costs with new solid-state technology.

Chandler Cruttenden / Unsplash 

In what is considered to be a significant breakthrough in the transition to electric vehicles (EV), Toyota says it has developed new solid-state battery technology that will allow it to reduce the weight, size and cost of EV batteries by 50 percent.

The largest automaker in the world said that by using its new solid-state battery architecture, it can produce batteries with a range of 745 miles (1,200 kilometers), which can also be fast-charged in about 10 minutes, as reported in the Financial Times.

In its efforts to play catch up with EV segment leaders like Tesla and BYD, last month, the company released its EV roadmap, including its vision to produce cars with solid-state batteries by 2027.

Toyota, whose pioneering hybrid Prius model - favoured by Uber drivers the world over - was launched in 1997, has been reluctant to enter the EV game with a full-throttle, largely focussing on hybrids and fuel cells.

Now, it looks determined to shake up the game with a range of in-house developed technologies that will challenge its competitors.

To that extent, the Japanese business announced on Tuesday that necessary steps are being taken to produce the materials needed for solid-state cells.

The company hailed the finding as a significant advancement that will help shorten charging periods and extend driving ranges.

“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. In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors,” said Keiji Kaita, president of the Japanese auto firm’s research and development center for carbon neutrality. 

Solid-state batteries benefits

In contrast to the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes used in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries, solid-state cells employ solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte.

These batteries are discovered to be more resilient with a longer lifespan.

Such batteries also allow for reduced charging times, increased capacity lower risk of catching fire when compared to lithium-ion batteries, which consist of a liquid electrolyte that is more volatile. The cost and significant effort required to make them have limited their practical applications till now.

As Toyota advances its efforts toward introducing next-generation EVs in 2026, the company is also evolving batteries with new technologies to meet customer expectations. "While increasing the energy density of the battery, we aim to increase the cruising range by improving vehicle efficiencies, such as aerodynamics and weight reduction, while at the same time reducing costs," said the firm in this EV roadmap.

The all-solid-state batteries for EVs will be developed with Toyota Industries Corporation, combining the knowledge of the Toyota Group.

Green transition

According to Toyota's EV roadmap, it is also planning to improve the performance of the liquid lithium-ion batteries by enhancing square batteries' energy density, a field in which Toyota has extensive experience. 

The bipolar structure that Toyota has been using in its hybrid offerings will be integrated into the full-EV architecture. 

Such batteries are anticipated to make it into practical applications in 2026–2027 and will be made of affordable lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells. "We are aiming for a 20% increase in cruising range, a 40% reduction in cost, and quick recharging in 30 minutes or less (SOC=10-80%) compared to the current bZ4X and considering installing it in EVs in the popular price range.

Toyota also seems committed to boosting sales of fuel cells that use Mirai's hydrogen units in order to increase its position in the fuel cell industry. The company has already received bids for external sales of 100,000 units by 2030.

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