Toyota Ups the Stakes in the BEV Manufacturing Race

Paul Myles, European Editor

September 14, 2023

3 Min Read

Just when industry watchers have been writing off Toyota in the BEV manufacturing race, the automaker has announced it will create a plant dedicated to begin production of new models in 2026.

Also these new cars will be designed and built differently to any of its previous BEVs and be powered by a range of new advanced batteries. The automaker has revealed details of four next generation batteries claiming advances in both liquid and solid electrolytes. Toyota has also previewed further progress with solid-state electrolyte battery technology.

However, The automaker says its new battery technologies will make their appearance first it its hybrid vehicles underscoring its faith in the gas-electric powertrain.

First up is claimed improved performance from the current liquid electrolyte batteries including:

  1. Performance (lithium-ion): planned for introduction with the next generation Toyota BEVs from 2026, the Performance lithium-ion battery will increase driving range to more than 497 miles, when combined with improved vehicle aerodynamics and reduced vehicle weight. It claims a 20% cost reduction compared to the current Toyota bZ4X BEV and rapid recharging time of 20 minutes or less from 10% to 80% capacity.

  2. Popularization (lithium iron phosphate): This battery is constructed using the bipolar technology Toyota pioneered for its nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, combined with inexpensive lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo) as the core material. Toyota expects the battery to reach the market in 2026-27.

It is expected to offer a 20% increase in driving range compared to the current Toyota bZ4X, a 40% reduction in cost and fast recharging time of 30 minutes or less from 10% to 80%.

  1. High-performance (lithium-ion): Toyota is also developing a High-performance battery that combines the bipolar structure with lithium-ion chemistry and a high nickel cathode to achieve a driving range capability of more than 621 miles, when combined with improved aerodynamics and reduced vehicle weight.

This claims to offer a further 10% reduction in cost compared to the above Performance battery, rapid charging time of 20 minutes or less from 10% to 80% and is expected to be introduced in 2027/28.

  1. Toyota also claims a breakthrough in solid-state batteries which have a solid electrolyte that allows for faster movement of ions and a greater tolerance of high voltages and temperatures. These qualities make the batteries suitable for rapid charging and discharging and delivering power in a smaller form.

Until now the trade-off has been an expected shorter battery life but Toyota says its recent advances have overcome this challenge and the company has moved its focus to bringing solid-state batteries into mass production. The aim is for the batteries to be ready for commercial use by 2027/28. Toyota’s first solid-state battery is expected to offer a 20% increase in driving range compared to the Performance battery (about 621 miles) and fast charging time of 10 minutes or less from 10% to 80% capacity.

Takero Kato, president of the new production facility, said: “We will need various options for batteries, just as we have different types of engines. It is important to offer battery solutions compatible with a variety of models and customer needs.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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