AutomobilesCurrent Affairs

Toyota to Invest $13.5 Billion to Develop Electric Car Batteries

Toyota's next-generation Prius featuring Hybrid Synergy Drive technology

Toyota Motor Corporation appears to be making a speedy headway into the electric vehicle arena as it has announced investing $13.5 billion for the development of electric vehicle (EV) batteries over the next eight and a half years.

It said that it seeks to reduce the cost of EV batteries by 30 percent by experimenting with the constituents of a conventional EV battery and working on the structure and layout of the cells.

Referring to Toyota’s upcoming all-electric SUV Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda told the media that the company also aims to “improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30 percent, starting with the Toyota bZ4X”.

Toyota is reportedly a huge proponent of solid-state batteries and is a pioneer of their development for the EV markets. These batteries have the following benefits:

  • They can store and supply more power.
  • They can be charged faster.
  • They are less susceptible to catching fire.

Not too long ago, they were considered a better substitute for lithium-ion batteries used in most modern EVs. However, their short service life has prevented them from becoming mainstream for modern EVs.

Toyota is still working to find cheaper and better substitutes to lithium-ion battery packs to allow EVs to become more affordable and mainstream.

Toyota’s Recent Stance

Toyota had publically opposed the upcoming complete electrification of vehicles about a month ago, saying that despite embracing EVs as the future of mobility, it does not favor a swift transition of all cars from fossil fuel power to electric power, and called the goal “unrealistic”.

Car analysts responded to this statement by saying that Toyota has been “caught flat-footed” for not keeping up with the rapid paradigm shift. Reports also disclosed that it is under immense pressure and has become “politically active” to safeguard its market share due to the aforementioned reason.

What is interesting is that while Toyota lobbies against the impending complete electrification of vehicles, it has forged an alliance with Daihatsu, Suzuki, Isuzu, and Hino to start developing all-electric commercial and passenger vehicles.

With this joint venture and the recent news about a large investment in the development of EV batteries, Toyota is undoubtedly gearing up to make a significant impact on the EV market.

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