After unveiling its comprehensive electric vehicle strategy in May this year, Toyota has now given a more detailed look at the development directions through which it can meet the expectations of customers and the market with different battery technologies.
The plans for the next five years actually aim to deepen the solutions already presented, expanding the technological and economic possibilities inherent in them. Toyota has heard the critical voices that it is not enough to increase the range. Although the ever-higher values sound impressive, the majority of customers are more concerned with costs, so it is essential for the increased popularity of electric mobility that manufacturers make their products more affordable.
What kind of battery does the dear customer order: stronger or cheaper? Toyota is preparing for a significant breakthrough in both fields in the next two years, and then by combining the two development directions, it will prepare the perfect liquid electrolyte battery by 2028.
Expected to be in 2026, the high-performance lithium-ion battery will make its debut on board Toyota’s next-generation electric vehicles. This technology offers a standard range of more than 800 kilometers, it will be charged from 10 to 80 percent in just 20 minutes, while its production costs will be 20 percent lower than the currently benchmark Toyota bZ4X battery.
Expected developments in the field of traditional vehicle technologies also contribute to the better efficiency of the battery: the more favorable aerodynamic characteristics and lower weight of the new generation of electric cars help break out of the vicious circle that binds electric cars today.
Around 2026/27, Toyota’s battery with an exceptionally good price/value ratio is expected. The bipolar process originally introduced by Toyota on nickel metal hydride batteries is used in the assembly of lithium iron phosphate cells. Thanks to its smaller size and weight, this battery can be produced up to 40 percent cheaper than the bZ4X battery, while providing a 20 percent longer range. The duration of the standard charging cycle (10-80%) is expected to be no more than 30 minutes.
The ultra-high-performance battery that will arrive at the end of the five-year period, sometime in 2027/28, will combine all the advantages of these two battery technologies. It combines bipolar construction with lithium-ion chemistry for the first time, which will bring a further 10 percent cost reduction compared to the high-performance battery system to be introduced in 2026, with a range of over 1,000 kilometers and a 10-80% charge cycle of less than 20 minutes.
For years, Toyota has been able to show serious results in the development of solid-state batteries, but the technology has only recently been cured of its childhood ailments: with exceptionally fast charging, high energy density, and high tolerance for temperature and voltage fluctuations, it has not been used for a long time. the lifespan of the prototypes was satisfactory.
This means, in four or five years, around 2027/28, the mass production and application of the “dream battery” can begin. The range far exceeding 1,000 kilometers, as well as the charge that can be increased from 10 to 80% in 10 minutes, make Toyota’s first generation solid state battery the king of batteries in one fell swoop. However, its reign will not last long, as the development of the second generation system has already been planned, which will be able to provide twice the battery of the bZ4X, i.e. a range longer than 1,200 kilometers, with the same dimensions.
At the beginning of our article, we mentioned the improvement of the medium resistance of electric Toyota vehicles as one of the main means of increasing the range. Surprising as it may be, not only aerodynamic developments will play a role in this, but new generation batteries will also contribute to more favorable air resistance. First of all, the bipolar technology is suitable for significantly reducing the height of the battery pack, which means that the height of the vehicles will be reduced in addition to the currently usual architecture – i.e. the battery installed under the floor. The possibilities are promising: while Toyota’s bZ4X battery pack is 150 mm high, including the housing for protecting the cells and installing the battery, in the future this thickness will be reduced to 120 and even 100 mm.
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