Tech

Next-Generation Electric Battery Technology Coming to Lexus?

Lexus LS Electric Vehicle

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Toyota has made a major breakthrough in battery technology:

The technology, a solid electrolyte, would enable smaller, lighter lithium-ion batteries, which theoretically could hold a higher charge—boosting the range of electric vehicles, according to the company.

Toyota said it was working on “production engineering” for these batteries and it expects to start selling cars with the new batteries by the early 2020s.

There is no mention of what vehicles might be equipped with these new batteries, but there’s every reason to expect that a Lexus model will be among the first to feature the technology.

Turning back to the WSJ for a more technical explanation:

These so-called solid-state batteries replace the damp electrolyte solution in current batteries with a solid. That allows for an improvement in shelf life compared with current batteries on the market, which degrade over time. They also are designed to avoid the fire hazard sometimes posed by current lithium-ion batteries.

Comments
It would be interesting to find out if this is in-house design or partnership venture, if so with whom? It's cannot be Panasonic that's for sure. I won't be surprised if all of the major old school manufacturers are somehow part of this project standing in the line get the solid state battery. That alone would put a spinal cord breaking weight on Tesla.
Why it cannot be Panasonic ?
Toyota have a percentage share in panasonic
Toyota and panasonic collaborated in a lot of projects from the lithium inside the plug-in prius to the hybrid system inside the LMP1 cars
I am relieved that lexus/Toyota is finally getting on the electrification bandwagon. IMO they kept with her hybrid strategy at the expense of developing pure electrics and could have fallen well behind the Germans in the next decade. Exciting stuff for sure.
I guess this is still internal development in TMC. Despite the media hype, Toyota has been continuously developing batteries for their gasoline and hydrogen hybrid vehicles. They even own a beamline on SPring-8 - one of the worlds largest synchrotrons with which they study electrode degradation in batteries during charging/discharging in real time and with sub-atomic resolution.

They reported solving the cell resistance issues of the solid state batteries demonstrated with prototypes way back in 2010:
https://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/07/toyota-prototypes-4-layer-solid-state-battery/

Partnership with Panasoinic for the production phase is also quite possible - lets not forget that all batteries in Toyota hybrids are built by Primearth EV - a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic.
Panasonic is also participating in Formula E...
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  • July 31, 2017
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It would be interesting to find out if this is an in-house design or partnership venture; if so with whom? It cannot be Panasonic that's for sure. I won't be surprised if all of the major old school manufacturers are somehow part of this project standing in the line to get the solid state battery. That alone would put a spinal cord breaking weight on Tesla.
Glad about it. If Telsa would not force things up, we would remain with ICEVs at least one decade longer.
Solving the interfacial resistance issue in solid state batteries is like the holy grail of EV technology because solid state batteries are just that good. But what really matters is whether TMC has any plan to engage in a production race against Tesla. Cost and throughput is the biggest concern for EVs in general, and Tesla went for the brute force solutoin, i.e. economy of enormous scale. But Giga Factories are a huge capital investment; I wonder if TMC, a corporation mainly run by accountants, is willing to accept such high risk.
Interestingly, about a day after this was announced Tesla's top battery guy announced he was leaving Tesla. Wouldn't be surprised if he was jumping to go work with this.

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