It’s no secret that we have been critical of Toyota’s lackadaisical pace when it has come to electric cars. However, for the more optimistic among us, it might seem like the long wait is due to Toyota wanting to refine their battery technology and bring solid-state batteries to market before any of their competition.
Toyota has recently stepped up the pace. They recently announced that a new electric SUV would be making its way to the European market, and now a report from Nikkei Asia states that the Japanese automaker is working on bringing solid-state technology to market relatively soon.
We should expect to see a prototype in the next year with a production model sometime in the early 2020s the article states:
The technology is a potential cure-all for the drawbacks facing electric vehicles that run on conventional lithium-ion batteries, including the relatively short distance traveled on a single charge as well as charging times. Toyota plans to be the first company to sell an electric vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery in the early 2020s. The world’s largest automaker will unveil a prototype next year.
Back in 2017 Toyota did state that they had plans to commercialize solid-state batteries in the early 2020s and it looks like they are still on track to make that happen.
The usual benefits are still there regarding solid-state technology, they should be more energy-dense, able to be charged faster, and be safer than traditional lithium batteries. While it seems that lithium batteries are doing fine in the range department with some cars already planned to have ranges north of 500 miles, faster charging times and greater safety is always a good thing.
Toyota would really surprise the EV world if they are able to bring solid-state EV batteries to market in the early 2020s. Most companies working on the technology, like QuantumScape, do not foresee any serious production until the mid to late 2020s.
The biggest hurdle will of course be making the batteries affordable. Toyota is known for its value so it will be interesting to see if they will be able to make these batteries cheap enough or if they will hand them over to their luxury brand, Lexus, for use in their vehicles.
What do you guys think of the news? Let us know down in the comments below.