Japanese car maker Toyota will introduce a solid state battery that can recharge to full in just 10 minutes 2021, a move that could revolutionise the electric vehicle market.
The emergence of the solid state battery market has been predicted for some time, and players including VW-backed Quantumscape, Panasonic, Samsung as well as Nissan, Honda, amd of course Toyota hope to reap the rewards if they can successfully bring one to market.
Solid state batteries are seen as a holy grail that could dramatically change the course of the uptake of EVs – still affected by consumer perceptions of the time taken to recharge an EV – and could deliver spectacular returns for the car maker, or battery maker, that achieves it.
Toyota is only beginning to embrace pure electric mobility – its first battery electric vehicle outside China was announced just last week – after being eclipsed this year by Tesla, the market value of which has skyrocketed to overtake Toytoa as the most valuable car maker on the planet, even though it has a fraction of the profits and output.
The solid state battery news – shared on Nikkei Asia – would see a new generation of Toyota vehicles that can charge in a third of the time that typical liuthium-ion batteries used today take.
Solid state batteries do away with aqueous electrolyte solutions used in traditional lithium-ion batteries, and have the advantage of being less flammable, more energy dense and able to charge faster.
But there obstacls to making them a proven success as a power source for high-demanding electrical devices such as EVs.
As with the QuantumScape solid state battery we reported on Wednesday, a leap must be made from “major breakthrough” at a cell level to commercially viable battery pack.
It is not entirely clear where Toyota is at with its technology, although we note it must be close if Nikkei Asia’s reporting is on the money. Toyota has had the funding of the Japanese government behind it since at least 2017.
According to Nikkei Asia, Toyota’s deal with the Japanese government includes the latter procuring lithium as country does not have its own rich reserves.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.