Toyota Partners with Idemitsu Kosan to advance solid-state EV battery technology

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Collaboration to pave the way for faster charging and smaller EV batteries

Toyota has joined forces with Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosan in a strategic partnership aimed at accelerating the development of solid-state electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The collaboration will progress through three phases, according to a joint announcement made by the two companies. In the first phase, the focus will be on the development of sulfide solid electrolytes, a crucial component of solid-state batteries. The second phase will involve the construction and operation of a “large pilot facility” for production by Idemitsu, with the eventual goal of incorporating these solid-state batteries into future Toyota EVs. The third phase will entail the study of full-scale mass production and commercialization.

Toyota recently reaffirmed its commitment to solid-state battery technology, stating that it expects it to be ready for “commercial use” by 2027 or 2028, in line with its previous timeline. The primary advantage of solid-state batteries for Toyota is the potential for significantly faster charging. The company envisions 10-minute charging from 10% to 80%, which could revolutionize the electric vehicle sector by reducing the reliance on larger battery packs.

Several automakers and battery firms are actively developing solid-state batteries, and Toyota is no exception. Faster charging times, which eliminate the need for larger batteries to achieve long range, could be a game-changer in the EV industry.

Toyota has been at the forefront of solid-state battery research, holding numerous patents in this area. In 2020, the company announced that it had prototype solid-state battery cells in a “running concept vehicle” and anticipated limited production of these cells by 2025. However, Toyota has given mixed signals about the type of vehicle that will debut this technology, initially suggesting it would be in a hybrid and more recently indicating EV applications, reflecting the evolving landscape of the electric vehicle market.