Toyota is developing an electric car which runs on ‘solid state’ battery technology. This development will drastically improve driving charge and reduce charging times, according to a report from Japan.
According to the Chunichi Shimbun daily newspaper, the vehicle will be based on a new platform and will likely go on sale in 2022. The news report states that Toyota is working on all-solid-state batteries, a recently developed technology that uses solid electrolytes rather than liquid. This enables a higher volumetric energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Battery technology experts claim the most-advanced all-solid-state batteries could be capable of reducing charging times to less than an hour. If the technology works, it would be a huge improvement compared to the hours of time that is currently required to charge modern lithium-ion batteries using conventional charging equipment.
Research studies show solid-state batteries can hold up to three times more energy than conventional lithium-ion batteries and also have a longer useful life.
Toyota, meanwhile, is not giving any confirmation about a production car using this kind of technology; however, a spokesperson told sister publication Autocar UK that research was taking place.
"It is considered that all-solid batteries are the most close to the level of practical application," Toyota said. "We are working on research and development, including the production engineering of all-solid batteries to commercialise them by the early 2020s."
Toyota confirmed its intentions to invest in battery-electric technology when a new electric vehicle division was opened by them. Ever since, Autocar UK have been told that while progress in solid state batteries is being made, they have not been able to replicate the success of lab tests in actual practice yet.
"These various next generation batteries have high potential," continued the spokesman. "However, they have some challenges and have not reached the level of the current liquid batteries. They are at the stage where they could prove performance in principle in the laboratory and we need a breakthrough for practical use, therefore, we need further research and development for these batteries."
Toyota’s first battery electric vehicle which is due in 2020 will be capable of travelling more than 299 kilometres on a single charge, although that car is expected to use more conventional lithium-ion batteries and will pave the way for the first all-solid-state battery car to arrive two years later.
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