As a leader in electric vehicle battery development, Toyota seeks to reduce the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working with the materials used and the way the cells are structured.
“In terms of the vehicle, our goal is to improve energy consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X,” the chief technology officer said at a press briefing. An upcoming compact SUV model.
The company is also a leader in mass production of solid-state batteries, a potential revolution for automakers because they are more energy-dense, charge faster, and are less likely to catch fire. If developed successfully, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries.
While he was still struggling with the short lifespan of these cells, Maeda said there was no change in Toyota’s goal of starting solid-state batteries in mid-2020. “We’re still looking for the best materials.”
Efforts to mass produce solid-state batteries have faltered because they are expensive to manufacture and prone to cracking as they expand and contract during use.
Toyota also plans to use solid state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles such as the Prius.
Volkswagen, the world’s second-largest automaker, said it may have to spend more to achieve its planned shift toward self-driving and electric cars.
The German company, which plans to invest about $178 billion in its business by 2025, has repeatedly said that it can fund this transformation based on existing cash flows.
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