Japanese automaker working with advanced new all-solid-state batteries and hopes to have a model on the market by 2022
Toyota is working on an electric car powered by a new type of battery that significantly increases driving range and reduces charging time, aiming to begin sales in 2022, the Chunichi Shimbun daily reported on Tuesday. They have been previously backing the hydrogen fuel cell car over the electric car.
Toyota’s new electric car, to be built on an all-new platform, will use all-solid-state batteries, allowing it to be recharged in just a few minutes, the newspaper said, without citing sources.
By contrast, current electric vehicles (EVs), which use lithium-ion batteries, need 20-30 minutes to recharge even with fast chargers and typically have a range of just 300-400 kilometres (185-250 miles).
Solid state batteries
Solid state batteries, the innovation Toyota and some other car makers are banking on, are basically batteries that use solid electrolytes rather than liquid ones. They are considered much safer than lithium-ion batteries widely used in electric cars at present.
According to a report in MIT Technology Review, some of the risks involved with such lithium-ion batteries is that they can result in overcharging, overheating and damage in an accident. Often, chemical reactions can get out of control, generating temperatures hot enough to melt aluminium and cause the batteries to explode.
Often, chemical reactions can get out of control, generating temperatures hot enough to melt aluminium and cause the batteries to explode. Not only that, on an average, a normal electric car has around 7,000 such batteries packed to clock to almost 96 kmph in four hours.
Apart from Toyota, German vehicle manufacturer, BMW is also working on electric cars with solid state batteries.
The Reuters report states that for Toyota, beating its rivals also depends on not only building the most cost-efficient electric car but also the quality management of the mass production.
Toyota has decided to sell the new model in Japan as early as 2022, the paper said. A Toyota spokeswoman said the company could not immediately comment on the report.
Japan’s biggest automaker is looking to close the gap with EV leaders such as Nissan Motor Co and Tesla Inc as battery-powered cars gain traction around the globe as a viable emission-free alternative to conventional cars.