AutosToyota's breakthrough: Solid electrolyte batteries to revolutionize electric cars

Toyota's breakthrough: Solid electrolyte batteries to revolutionize electric cars

Toyota Sport Crossover Concept
Toyota Sport Crossover Concept
Images source: © Press materials
12:27 PM EST, December 17, 2023

These batteries are predicted to significantly improve the range of electric cars and noticeably reduce their weight. The technology of traction batteries with a solid electrolyte body is not yet in use, but drivers worldwide are eagerly awaiting its market debut. According to the firms developing such batteries, the finished cell sets will have substantially better energy storage density than current ones. This implies that a traction battery made with this technology will be smaller and lighter while providing significantly longer range than today's batteries. But, how much longer?

Toyota, likely among the most advanced companies in this technology, believes that passenger cars with solid electrolyte batteries could reach a range exceeding 621, potentially even 746 miles. Furthermore, they are also expected to be cheaper. However, Toyota has not laid out an exact timeline for the new technology's market debut, as reported by Automotive News Europe. Back in mid-2019, Toyota had anticipated the presentation of a ready vehicle before the end of 2020.

One might assume that introducing such technology would make popular traction batteries obsolete. However, Toyota disagrees. As stated by Koji Sato, Toyota's president, quoted by Automotive News Europe, lithium-ion batteries will coexist and complement solid electrolyte batteries in the future.

Why this stance? It may seem surprising because solid electrolyte batteries supposedly have almost all advantages over traditional ones. Almost, but not quite. According to a report by Automotive News Europe in November 2023, Toyota plans to be ready for mass production of solid electrolyte batteries by 2030. However, in practical terms, this implies that the company will be prepared for a production volume of just over 10,000 cars annually by 2030. Given the scale of Toyota's production, this is quite limited. Perhaps, this is why Toyota asserts that traditional battery cars and solid electrolyte battery models will coexist.

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