Toyota says it has made a breakthrough in solid-state electric-vehicle batteries, which will significantly reduce manufacturing costs while providing greater performance than current models.
On July 4, the automaker announced it had devised a new, cost-effective method to produce solid-state EV batteries capable of driving nearly 750 miles on a single, 10-minute charge. If true, the advancement could overcome two chief obstacles to electric vehicle proliferation: expense and range anxiety. Keiji Kaita, the president of Toyota’s research and development center for carbon neutrality, said the technology would be integrated starting in 2027: “…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.”
But while the automaker claims to be one step closer to achieving these goals, there is little reason to believe the electric vehicle market will adopt solid-state batteries anytime soon. Toyota is far from being the only car manufacturer investing in the technology, and its latest claims are merely the latest in a long string of supposed “breakthroughs.” The statements by Kaita also come at a time when the brand is looking to satisfy shareholder concerns over its rapidly obsolescing EV lineup. Specifics in the company’s announcement are also suspiciously sparse, a detail that evidently caught the attention of some doubtful shareholders.
Nevertheless, the news need not be dismissed entirely. Toyota is far more selective in reporting on its technological innovations than other automakers, giving it slightly more credibility. The brand also seems determined to make progress. Hiroki Nakajima, the company’s chief technology officer, admitted that integrating solid-state batteries by the 2027 deadline “will be a challenge,” but added, “it’s not that we don’t have any basis [for the date].”