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.