Charging from 0 to 100% in 10 minutes and autonomy of about 500 km are a few of the claimed characteristics that will surprise the new battery.
For now these characteristics seem unrealistic and written only on paper, but they will be achievable with the introduction of innovative solid-state battery technology. Toyota Motor plans to publicly present its prototype of such a battery as early as 2021. It is claimed that it will change the rules of the game, not only in the electric car market, but in the entire car industry.
Solid-state batteries have been talked about and written about for a dozen years, but it's up to Toyota to finally bring the technology to production electric vehicles. It aims to launch sales of cars with such batteries by the end of the first half of the 2020s, that is, by 2025.
The solid-state battery will double the range in a similar size. This will be achieved by increasing the energy density (watts per kg) of the cells, according to the Japanese publication Nikkei.
It is no less important that it will take only ten minutes to fully charge such an electric car. This time is already comparable to the charging speed of an ordinary car with an internal combustion engine. It's also an important advantage of using solid state batteries, namely that they are less prone to combustion.
Till now, Toyota has the world's largest number of patents in this area, with more than a thousand. Nissan is also developing its own solid-state battery and plans to begin installing it in production electric vehicles by 2028.
The move to new battery technology will have an impact on suppliers. Japanese auto component manufacturers are rushing to create the necessary infrastructure to supply the auto companies. Mitsui Mining and Smelting, better known as Mitsui Kinzoku, will launch a pilot plant to produce solid electrolytes for batteries. Sumitomo Chemical is also engaged in materials development.
The production site, located at a research center in Saitama Prefecture, will be able to produce tens of tons of solid electrolyte annually starting next year, enough to fulfill orders for prototypes. The production of such cells requires solidification of sulfides, a task for the metallurgical and chemical industries.