Not long after announcing a serious effort towards battery electric vehicles, Toyota has given us some more information about its electric roadmap. With four battery variations planned, Toyota looks to have a multifaced strategy that covers all its bases moving forward to 2030.
Toyota is making serious gains in its coming next-generation batteries, which the company states will power 1.7 of the 3.5 million battery electric vehicles Toyota plans to sell by 2030. While Toyota’s current battery offering with the bZ4X can be underwhelming, the next generation is promising to make significant strides.
Upcoming Toyota Batteries
The Japanese automaker detailed its upcoming battery technology strategies, beginning with three liquid electrolyte categories.
The first of these next-generation batteries to be introduced in time for 2026 will be an improvement on their standard lithium-ion battery chemistry. The goal of this battery is not only to reach a cruising range of up to 497 miles, but to also be 20% cheaper than the currently used batteries in the bZ4X. A 10-80% charging time of less than 20 minutes is also targeted.
Popularization (Lithium Iron Phosphate)
Of course, anyone who is wanting to keep costs even lower for mass-market vehicles will look towards iron phosphate batteries which still provide acceptable ranges at a cheaper price compared to lithium-ion batteries. Toyota plans to use bipolar technology it developed for its hybrid powertrains to interweave the iron phosphate and provide greater performance.
It’s expected to deliver 20% more range than the current batteries while cutting costs up to 40%. Charging speeds are expected to be below 30 minutes. This stage of battery production is expected to come shortly after the Performance batteries in 2026-2027.
After the introduction of the two previous battery types, Toyota plans to combine the bipolar architecture with lithium-ion chemistry to create a battery that can provide over 620 miles of range while cutting costs by 10% compared to the Performance battery.
This battery is expected to come in 2027-2028.
Solid State Batteries Over The Horizon
Along with three sets of liquid electrolyte batteries, Toyota has promised a breakthrough in solid-state battery production. For a long time, solid-state batteries have been the next step in battery evolution, ridding the pack of liquid electrolytes, allowing the battery to charge and discharge faster, and provide greater energy density.
However, fears of rapid battery life depletion and expensive costs have limited their feasibility in the automotive world. Toyota has stated that they’ve cracked the code and are looking to mass-produce solid-state batteries in 2027-2028.
The first generation of these batteries is expected to provide ranges of over 620 miles. More importantly, Toyota is looking to get charging times down to below 10 minutes, bringing the EV charge almost in line with the time it takes to fill up a gas car. While Toyota plans to mass-produce this battery, we won’t be surprised if it’s only available in high-end vehicles initially.
A second generation of the solid-state battery is already being worked on with a goal of over 745 miles. Toyota has not stated if this second generation will be able to charge even quicker.
The drag coefficient plays a significant role in the final range of an EV. The leading edge of a car (its face) has a significant effect on how aerodynamic a car is, so it’s important that a company makes the front of the car as streamlined as possible.
Toyota states that tall battery packs raise the car as a whole and increase how large the front of the car is, increasing its drag. As such, engineers are working to shrink the height of current 5.9-inch tall packs down to just 3.9 inches.
Overall it’s great to see Toyota come up with a serious multifaced plan, although I’ll be the first to say that it would have been nice if they had done it sooner, but better late than never. Even in the press release, the brand states that its solid-state batteries were initially intended for their hybrid vehicles but are now pivoted to their upcoming electric cars.