Toyota’s Solid State Battery: Everything Known So Far

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The Japanese want to put a prototype on the wheels as early as 2021

Toyota's Solid State Battery: Everything Known So Far-battery

More and more electric cars are currently coming onto the market, but Toyota was noticeably reluctant to do so. The Japanese manufacturer still relied on hybrids, most of which are not chargeable.

But Toyota apparently had a plan all along. The company wasn't waiting for fuel cell technology to become affordable, but instead developed a solid-state battery.

The company still relies on the fuel cell – after all, a new version of the Mirai was only released in November revealed. But Toyota also wants to bring a battery electric vehicle to market. It's supposed to be built on the same platform (e-TNGA) as the Mirai, but it's supposed to be an SUV and it will get its juice from the new solid-state battery.

Photo gallery: Lexus and Toyota teaser electric cars

Toyota's Solid State Battery: Everything Known So Far-gallery Lexus Toyota teaser electric

The as yet unnamed SUV is set to debut as early as 2021, if only as a prototype. But it's the battery pack that we're interested in here.

Solid-state batteries (SSBs) should have a multiple higher energy density than conventional batteries, they do not use aqueous electrolytes and thus reduce the risk of fire in the event of an accident. Instead of liquid or polymer gel electrodes, a solid-state battery also uses solid electrodes.

In the case of solid-state batteries, the charging times should also be drastically reduced, so that the process does not take much longer than refueling a burner. According to Toyota, the new SUV should be fully charged in ten minutes. The range is given as 500 kilometers.

However, solid-state batteries are known to not perform very well in cold temperatures. And their longevity has also often been questioned. Toyota has not specifically mentioned either of these aspects in any of its press releases on the subject. But these were certainly two challenges that the manufacturer had to face.

More about solid-state batteries: Toyota's Solid State Battery: Everything Known So Far-gallery Lexus Toyota teaser electric Solid-state batteries: No more expensive than normal batteries from 2025?

Toyota's Solid State Battery: Everything Known So Far-gallery Lexus Toyota teaser electric QuantumScape explains the benefits of its solidstate battery

It appears that Toyota is currently the world leader in solid-state battery technology. According to an article in Nikkei Asia in December, Nissan could also bring a first solid-state battery electric car in 2028. Volkswagen is also reportedly on the verge of this. Thanks to a cooperation with an American startup company VW wants to start producing SSBs as early as 2025.

The production version of the Toyota SUV with SSB is expected to start before the middle of the decade – possibly 2023 or 2024. The vehicle will be a similar size to the RAV4 and will be built at Toyota's electric car factory, which was founded in 2018. The car is expected to be the first of six vehicles to be built on the same modular basis. Also the Subaru Evoltis should be created on the same platform.

[Translator's Note: The original article dated December 14, 2020 has been shortened slightly.]

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