Toyota to invest $13.6bn in batteries for electric vehicles by 2030

7 Sep 2021

Image: © xiaoliangge/Stock.adobe.com

As well as reducing the cost of batteries by 30pc, Toyota intends to invest considerably in developing solid-state batteries for its cars.

As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) soars worldwide, Toyota showed its intentions to address the climate crisis through its research and development plans for electric vehicles. This includes $13.6bn (1.5trn Yen) set aside to develop innovative battery materials and technology.

Masahiko Maeda, the CTO of Toyota, gave a presentation today (7 September) where he highlighted the urgent need for carbon reductions worldwide and the strategies that Toyota were planning to achieve this.

“There is no time to lose when it comes to reducing, in all aspects, the amount of CO2 emitted by humankind,” said Maeda.

Becoming carbon neutral

He explained that achieving carbon neutrality meant reducing CO2 emissions to zero throughout the entire life cycle of a product. This starts at the procurement of raw materials and goes all the way to the eventual recycling and disposal of the technology.

As such, Toyota outlined its plans in a range of technological investments, of which battery development was central. Maeda cited figures that showed the CO2 reduction effect of three hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) was almost equivalent to that of one battery-powered electric vehicle (BEVs).

As HEVs are available at a comparatively affordable price, these cars can be a better option in areas where renewable energy is not yet abundant. Toyota said that BEVs and fuel-cell electric vehicles are important technologies where renewable energy is available, however.

The company also plans to reduce the costs of batteries by 30pc or more through the development of new materials and structures. Toyota’s vehicles will also aim to have better power consumption by as much as 30pc, reducing the need for battery capacity and also bringing down the overall price.

It said that through this joint effort in vehicle and battery technology, the overall battery cost in some of its vehicles could be reduced by 50pc.

The future of electric vehicles

Another key element to the company’s research and development are solid-state batteries. Maeda said that the company hopes it can “bring out the joy” of this technology through high output, long cruising range and shorter charging times. He also said that these batteries are expected to have a higher output due to the fast movement of ions within them.

The company said it has trialled vehicles with solid-state batteries and obtained license plate registrations for these vehicles. The issue, however, lies in the short service life of the technology. Solving this will involve continued research, particularly looking at solid electrolyte material.

He said the identification of this issue brought the company one step closer to commercialisation, however.

“When it comes to electrified vehicles, cars and batteries cannot be separated,” Maeda added.

“To adapt to the future sustainably and practically, Toyota would like to contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality by improving its adaptability to change and its competitiveness, as well as by aiming for the fundamental widespread acceptance of ever-better electrified vehicles.”

Sam Cox is a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news

editorial@siliconrepublic.com