Toyota’s revolutionary quick charge battery
According to Nikkei Asia, Toyota is set to introduce a solid-state battery this year that promises to be a game-changer, and not just where electric-powered cars are concerned, but for the whole industry.
It’s believed that the technology will be a cure for all the challenges being faced by electric-powered vehicles, which today still have to run on the traditional lithium-ion batteries.
This is in addition to the short trip the cars have to make on one charge. The report by Nikkei Asia suggests that Toyota is committed to being the first company to unveil an electric car featuring the solid-state battery in the next few years.
But as the world waits for this to happen, Toyota is committed to releasing a prototype sometime in 2021.
Global ranking of patents
It’s clear that the largest automaker is fully committed to achieving this fete, a fact which can be seen in the many numbers of patents it currently holds. By press time, Toyota had more than one thousand patents related to the solid-state battery.
Apart from Toyota, other companies have also demonstrated an interest in this field. Coincidentally, when Toyota was announcing this news to the world, QuantumScape, a startup currently being supported by Volkswagen, was also releasing data related to solid-state batteries.
According to the data released by QuantumScape, solid-state battery technology has a lot of potentials, which means the world may get access to it than earlier predicted.
Nissan Motor has also announced plans to come up with its solid-state battery by the start of 2028. Its battery is expected to be in a position to power a non-simulation car.
As the world seeks to shift to eco-friendlier options, EVs may soon become a necessity instead of an option loved by environmental crusaders. Today, Tesla appears to be leading the other automakers when it comes to supplying electric vehicles.
However, with many other players becoming interested in this technology, it may not take long before there’s a change of course in the auto industry.
Toyota’s Electric Vehicle
The electric vehicle envisioned by Toyota will be capable of covering a distance longer than that of a car running on the normal lithium-ion battery. Mind you, the distance covered was calculated for cars operating under similar conditions.
Toyota hopes to achieve this fete without having to do away with internal space, even in some of its most compact automobiles. Once the design is complete, the batteries will become a good alternative to the traditional batteries that utilise aqueous electrolyte solutions.
It’s an innovation that’s expected to greatly multiply energy density while also lowering the risk of it catching fire. The automaker believes it would take around ten minutes to fully charge any electric vehicle operating on this technology.
When it’s all said and done, this means that the charging time would be reduced by up to two-thirds. The driving distance of a typical compact car will thus be increased without compromising on its available legroom.
The shift towards new tech
As more manufacturers make the shift towards the new battery technology, this shift is also expected to affect other companies on the normal supply chain. A good indication of this is the fact that automakers in Japanese have started to set up the infrastructure required to supply materials to the manufacturers.
For example, Smelting and Mitsui Mining have already advanced plans to set up a pilot facility they will use when making solid electrolytes for the solid-state batteries. It’s anticipated that the production site will be in a position to produce dozens of tons each year, starting with 2021.
This capacity is enough to fulfil the order for all the prototypes that are expected to be released this year.
This technology is targeted for the mid-2020s decade, with others saying consumers may have to wait until the onset of the second part of this decade.
If the news coming from Toyota is to be believed, it means the automaker is well ahead of the pack, although EV users may want to take this news with a grain of salt for the moment.
The reality is that there’s still a lot of information that hasn’t been made available regarding the solid-state batteries from Toyota. Some of the missing data pertain to its capacity at varying temperatures, as well as the number of cycles this battery can attain.
Both of these issues have in the past posed a problem where solid-state batteries are concerned. While it’s impossible to know whether Toyota has been able to address all these issues, there is a need for the automaker to provide additional information on the same.
There’s a high probability that the missing data could soon become publicly available with the expected release of the first car to use the solid-state battery later this year.
The bottom line
Quick Facts on Toyota’s Solid-state Battery:
Toyota to introduce a solid-state battery by the end of 2021.
Battery to be fully recharged in 10 minutes. The new technology will see the industry do away with aqueous electrolyte solutions.
EV powered by the battery to be able to cover 310 miles in a single charge.
The technology will make the environment safer and eliminate the risks associated with using standard lithium-ion batteries.
Available data shows that Toyota is doing its best to become competitive in this segment. Therefore, if it finally masters the secrets of building solid-state batteries, it just may end up securing itself a position that will place it in a highly unique and profitable position.