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Toyota's new solid-state battery could make its way to cars by 2020

26 July 2017

Toyota Motor Corp is working on an electric vehicle 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.

The report comes from Japanese daily newspaper, Chunichi Shimbun, which claims Toyota's long-range EV will ride on an all-new platform and use all-solid-state batteries, which can be recharged in just a few minutes. The new EV will reportedly go on sale in Japan first.

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Current EVs use "liquid" lithium-ion batteries, but Toyota, along with a number of startups and suppliers such as Bosch, has been investing in solid-state battery tech that replaces liquid acid electrolytes with solid materials that are less prone to short-circuiting, catching fire or degrading over time, among other desirable properties. Moreover, solid state batteries are more durable and safer compared to lithium -ion batteries. Electric vehicles now use lithium-ion batteries, so it will be interesting to see if Toyota manages to push all-solid-state batteries to mainstream production. When contacted by the scribe, a spokeswoman for the company said that while Toyota is not going to comment on specific product plans, it is planning to commercialize solid-state batteries by the early 2020s.

Solid-state batteries, as the name suggests, use solid electrolytes rather than liquid which most electric auto batteries, like lithium-ion units, use today. The downside is that they're still very expensive to manufacture on a mass scale. This will thus be a long-range fast-charging electric vehicle.

Toyota's new solid-state battery could make its way to cars by 2020