Toyota Plans $13.5 B Investment in EV Battery Tech by Decade End

Highlights :

  • Toyota Motor is planning to spend over $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system.
  • The company aims to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.

Japanese auto major Toyota Motor is planning to spend over $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system, aiming to head technological developments over the next decade, revealed an online briefing on batteries and carbon neutrality.

The world’s largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year.

Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aimed to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.

“Then, for the vehicle, we aim to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X,” Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda told a briefing, referring to an upcoming compact SUV model.

The company is also the front runner to mass produce solid-state batteries – a potential game changer for automakers because they are more energy dense, charge faster and are less prone to catching fire. If developed successfully, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries.

While it was still struggling with the short service life of these cells, Maeda said there was no change in Toyota’s target to begin manufacturing solid-state batteries by the mid 2020s.

“We are still searching for the best materials to use,” he said.

Efforts to mass produce solid-state batteries have stumbled as they are expensive to manufacture and are prone to crack when they expand and contract during use.

Toyota also plans to use solid-state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) such as the Prius.

“At the moment, because we can provide HEVs at a comparatively affordable price, in places where the use of renewable energy is to become widespread going forward, electrification using HEVs is among the effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions,” added Maeda.

“On the other hand, Toyota believes that the increased use of zero-emissions vehicles, or ZEVs, such as BEVs, and fuel cell electric vehicles, or FCEVs, is important in regions where renewable energy is abundant.”

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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