Toyota was once the leader in electric vehicles. However, the Japanese carmaker lost the plot and squandered its lead but now Toyota is coming back for its lost crown with its secret new solid-state battery will the solid state battery return Toyota to the front of the pack join us as we dive into Toyota’s secret new solid state battery the story of Toyota and electric cars deserves to be taught in business classes for how to avoid losing pole market position.Toyota is the world’s largest automaker by volume and a distant second by market capitalization to Tesla who is now in the exclusive trillion dollar club more than 25 years ago Toyota set the ball rolling on its electric vehicle agenda when it formed a team led by takeshi ukiyama to build a car for the 21st century that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants this culminated in Toyota releasing the iconic Prius in 1997 around the time the Kyoto protocol signing the Prius was a hybrid electric car that went on to achieve fame and even starred in a couple of films Toyota reported it crossed the 15 million units of the Prius sold mark last year combined with the Lexus brand Toyota had 44 hybrid vehicles on sale and by its reckoning it saved more than 120 million tons of co2 emission from entering the environment naturally with this early movers advantage in electric vehicles and its nearly limitless capacity as a car maker you would expect Toyota to progress into a position where it is giving Tesla serious competition it even says on its website hybrid naturally leads to bv but that is not the case rather the Japanese firm is scrambling to catch up with almost everybody else so you may be asking what happened to Toyota’s
electrification plan let’s quickly answer that question before we move on to a solid-state battery the company made more than a few mistakes but the biggest was not setting its priorities right instead of building on its overwhelming success with hybrid electric vehicles and transition to purely electric models Toyota viewed the hybrids as merely a placeholder or stop gap until a better tech was ready that better tech was supposed to be hydrogen fuel cells and it poured all its resources into the development however it has not panned out as Toyota expected much of the blame should be laid at the feet of the CEO Akio Toyoda who felt electric vehicles did not deserve the hype they got he even argued that electric cars did not help the environment much as they were charged by electrical plants that produced emissions for these reasons Toyota steered Toyota away from working on battery electric vehicles but now the ev terrain has changed so much the Toyota is finding itself on uncertain grounds Tesla has shown the world that electric cars are viable and governments all over the world are using the keratin stick approach to push electric cars by offering incentives for buying them and also announcing bans of the sales of fossil fuel powered cars in Norway for example after years of a dedicated push by the government electric cars now make up the majority of new car registrations the uk is also banning the sales of new light duty ic cars by 2030. Toyota has now got the memo and is getting in on the program showing it is not the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer for nothing Toyota has said it will release 50 new purely electric models by 2025. the first of the eevee onslaught is the bz4x an electric suv that Toyota will start selling next year in its home country it is based on the etnga electric platform Toyota developed in collaboration with subaru if you think the two companies are strange bedfellows Toyota is an investor in subaru just like Tesla Toyota is not afraid to call controversy as the bz4x will also have a yoke for steering although there is a version with the tested and trusted steering wheel rest of Toyota’s electric vehicles in the nearest future at least will be based on the same platform to power these electric vehicles Toyota is working on its own battery as a company that has sold millions of hybrid cars Toyota has deep expertise when it comes to batteries and holds thousands of patent based on it Toyota aims to slash the cost of its batteries by 30 or more by working on the materials used and how the cells are structured similar to what Tesla is doing with his 4680 battery making the battery cheaper is not enough to catch up with other ev makers though so Toyota is also trying to improve the power consumption of the cars themselves starting with bz4x Toyota wants to cut the electricity used per kilometer by 30 percent there is a good reason Toyota is focusing on the battery the component is one of the most important in the car also the most expensive of course the prices are falling but they still determine the cost of the vehicle while Toyota will use the popular lithium-ion battery in the first set of electric cars it is not blind to the drawbacks lithium-ion batteries lose capacity and the ability to deliver peak charge deteriorates over time they also make a lot of heat
when in use making it necessary to include cumbersome cooling systems and complicated control software in addition to these drawbacks lithium-ion batteries have a risk of exploding or catching fire if damaged in an accident due to the flammable liquid inside them the whole industry has been going after solid-state batteries the next frontier in electric mobility their benefits over lithium-ion are numerous most notably insane performance and range many companies are investigating solid-state batteries including Toyota quantum scape which is backed by Volkswagen bill gates and saic others include solid power Samsung yes the same Samsung that makes the popular galaxy phones and so forth however Toyota is at the forefront of the race to produce the first solid-state battery and put it inside a car it has one of the deepest pockets and an experienced workforce working towards this breakthrough most of the patents on solid state batteries were filed by Toyota what makes solid-state batteries superior to lithium-ion batteries as the name suggests solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte that can take the form of ceramics glass sulphites or solid polymers instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion batteries solid-state batteries promise between 2 and 10 times the energy densities of lithium-ion batteries of the same size which is due to the smaller footprint it means more powerful batteries without adding extra weight and space or more compact battery packs without sacrificing power solid state batteries can also be charged rapidly without the fear of damaging them they’re also far less prone to catching fire basically solid state batteries are the holy grail of the battery industry any company that can get it out of the gate first and commence mass production will make a killing as a frontrunner in the race Toyota has even raised the stakes to produce this game changer despite the amount of research and development it has done already Toyota has earmarked over 13.5 billion dollars that it will spend before 2030 in developing high performance next generation batteries which include solid-state batteries to prevent history from repeating itself Toyota is working rapidly faster than the rest it already has a prototype concept vehicle the lq that runs on its solid state battery which it has showcased unlike the rest Toyota will use its solid state battery in both its purely electric car like the bz4x and hybrids like the prius part of what Toyota is attempting to do with the solid state battery is to reduce the costs according to the latest update given by the chief technology officer Masahiro mida Toyota is working on getting the best materials that will lower the cost and also prevent expansion and contraction during use it is also trying to expand the service life of the cells however the cto is confident Toyota will meet its target of releasing its solid state battery in 2025 and start using it in its production of electric cars.