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Toyota announces solid-state battery discovery that may let it catch up with Tesla faster

The Lexus RZ 450e may have a solid-state battery successor (image: Toyota)
The Lexus RZ 450e may have a solid-state battery successor (image: Toyota)
Toyota has managed to drastically cut the processes needed to make a solid-state battery with 500+ miles of EPA range, and address the biggest shortcoming of the technology, its price. Toyota just announced that its solid-state battery will enter mass production in 2027, earlier than predicted.

While the world's biggest EV battery maker CATL was sceptical that any solid-state battery price viability for mass production would happen before 2030, Toyota now begs to differ. It just reiterated its long-teased solid-state battery breakthrough that will allow it to place the safer cells in its mass market electric vehicles as soon as 2027.

Keiji Kaita, the head of Toyota’s newly minted R&D department of carbon neutrality, detailed the company's achievement that may allow it to catch up with the EV market leader Tesla sooner than projected: "For both our liquid and solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive. In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors."

Given that NIO recently complained how its homebrew 150 kWh semi-solid state battery with hybrid electrolyte costs as much as its ET5 sedan to make, any solution that will lower the cost of true solid-state batteries and will allow for their financially feasible entry into the mass production realm, is a welcome one. Toyota is of the opinion that its solid-state battery materials and production process breakthrough will lower the cost of the pack to make it equal or lower than that of the current ternary lithium batteries of the type which Tesla puts in its electric cars.

Toyota has managed to solve both the solid-state battery cell lifespan issues that it ran into about three years ago when it last detailed its work on the technology, as well as found "a solution for materials" that will turn its solid-state battery into one for performance electric vehicles. The solid-state battery pack of Toyota will house enough energy density in the current footprint of batteries for performance EVs like the Tesla Model S which would allow 1200km of range on a charge, or about 745 miles.

In its new EV strategy detailed last week, Toyota made the same claim, but with the clarification that the range is calculated on the China-centric CLTC cycle. Real-life EV battery range tests show that the CLTC cycle is more generous by about a third compared to the EPA estimates that are valid for driving habits in the US.

This means that the first electric cars with Toyota's solid-state battery shoehorned in the size of a current EV battery pack will have a range on a charge of a bit over 500 miles. That's still not bad at all if they can come at the same price, given that Toyota also reiterated that the solid-state battery technology will allow for ultrafast charging of about 10 minutes on suitable DC fast chargers.

Long story short, while solid-state battery prototypes are a dime a dozen these days, Toyota is actually promising mass solid-state battery production in the foreseeable future. As reputed car analyst Sandy Munroe puts it, the "elephant" Toyota can turn on a dime and "crush" the competition once it sets its mind on achieving something, and it seems that Toyota is now all in on electric vehicles after a long period of hesitation about their viability for a global market.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 07 > Toyota announces solid-state battery discovery that may let it catch up with Tesla faster
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-07- 4 (Update: 2023-07- 4)