Toyota’s solid state batteries could help it leap frog ahead of the competition

Its solid state powered EVs are slated to hit the market in Japan in 2022.

According to the Chunichi Shimbun daily, Japanese giant Toyota Motor Corp is working on an electric vehicle that will be powered by a new type of battery, which will significantly increase the vehicle’s driving range and reduce its charging time. The electric car is slated to hit the market sometime in 2022.

The newspaper has reported, without citing any sources, Toyota’s new electric car will be built on a brand new platform and will feature solid-state batteries.

This is in stark contrast to current EVs which use lithium-ion batteries that require 20-30 minutes, even with fast chargers, and have a range of 185-250 miles (300-400 kilometres).

The new vehicle will first go on sale in Japan before reaching other continents.

A spokeswoman for Toyota said the company could not immediately comment on the report.

With battery-powered vehicles increasingly gaining traction around the globe, Japan’s biggest automakers are looking for ways to close the gap.

It remains to be seen whether Toyota will manage to leapfrog its rivals given the fact that mass production will require stringent quality control and reliability levels.

“There’s a pretty long distance between the lab bench and manufacturing,” said CLSA auto analyst Christopher Richter.  “2022 is ages away, and a lot can change in the meantime.”

Strangely, the success of EVs lie on the cost effectiveness of batteries.

Toyota has since long touted hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and plug-in hybrids as way ahead with the company disclosing last year that it would add long-range EVs to its line-up, and has set up a new in-house unit, headed by President Akio Toyoda, to develop and market EVs.

Toyota is reportedly planning to begin mass-producing of its EVs in China as early as 2019. These models would however be based on the existing C-HR suv and use lithium-ion batteries.

Incidentally, solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid ones, which makes them safer than the lithium-ion batteries currently on the market.

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