Toyota to invest over $13.5 billion to develop EV battery tech, supply by 2030
Toyota Motor plans to invest more than $13.5 billion through 2030 to develop electric vehicle batteries and a supply system in order to lead in the market in the key automotive technology over the next decade. The automaker is gearing up to introduce its first all-electric line-up next year.
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Toyota pioneered the hybrid electric vehicle category with its popular Prius compact vehicle. The company is already considered to be a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, and it now plans to reduce the cost of the batteries by 30% or more. It aims to achieve this by working on the materials used in the batteries and the way the cells are structured.
The automaker also aims to improve power consumption of these batteries by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X - an upcoming compact SUV model, said its Chief Technology Officer, Masahiko Maeda. Power consumption indicates the amount of electricity used per kilometer by the battery-powered vehicle.
Further, the company has been a leader in mass production of solid-state batteries that are dense in energy, can charge faster and are less prone to catching fire. However, Toyota's endeavours to mass produce solid-state EV batteries have been put on hold because of the fact that these batteries are expensive to develop and are also prone to crack upon expansion and contraction during use. The short service life of these batteries have become a hindrance in their successful development and application. "We are still searching for the best materials to use," Maeda said during a briefing.
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If developed successfully, these batteries could become potential game changer for automakers as they could even replace liquid lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. Toyota also plans to use the solid-state batteries in its hybrid electric vehicles such as the Prius.
(with inputs from Reuters)