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Toyota will invest $14.3B in development of a battery supply system and research and development by 2030

In a livestreamed briefing on batteries and carbon neutrality, Toyota Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda said that the company will invest ¥1.5 trillion (US$14.3 billion) in the development of a battery supply system and research and development by 2030.

Toyota currently assumes it will go beyond the 180 GWh worth of batteries that it is currently considering and will ready 200 GWh worth of batteries or more if the dissemination of BEVs is faster than expected, Maeda said.

Maeda5

Before outlining Toyota’s plans for developing next-generation liquid and solid-state batteries, Maeda took some time to provide background on Toyota’s battery development approach since the introduction of the Prius in the late 1990s, and to address the claims of critics charging that Toyota is being too slow to embrace full battery-electric vehicles.

To the latter point, Maeda said that according to Toyota’s calculations, the CO2 reduction effect of three HEVs is almost equal to that of one BEV. Because Toyota can provide HEVs at a comparatively affordable price, in places where the use of renewable energy is to become widespread going forward, electrification using HEVs is among the effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions, he said.

More specifically, Toyota’s cumulative sales of HEVs have now reached as many as 18.1 million units.

Earlier, I mentioned that the CO2 emissions reduction effect of three HEVs is equivalent to the reduction effect of one BEV, and the 18.1 million HEVs sold to date are equivalent to the CO2 reduction effect of introducing to the market about 5.5 million BEVs.

The volume of batteries for HEVs that we have produced so far is the same as that of the batteries installed on about 260,000 BEVs.

In other words, we can say that the batteries needed for 260,000 BEVs have been used to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction effect of 5.5 million BEVs.

—Masahiko Maeda

Maeda1

Toyota has been continuously evolving nickel-metal hydride batteries and lithium-ion batteries for hybrids by taking advantage of their respective characteristics. A new bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery announced this year and focused on providing instantaneous power, will be used in an increasing number of vehicles, Maeda said.

Maeda3

For lithium-ion batteries for PHEVs and BEVs, Toyota is working to improve both cost and endurance. For BEVs, Toyota would like to reduce costs and provide BEVs at a reasonable price. To do so, Toyota:

  • Aims to reduce the costs of batteries themselves by 30% or more by developing materials and structures.

  • For the vehicle, Toyota aims to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X. Improved power efficiency leads to reduced battery capacity, which will result in a cost reduction of 30%.

  • Through this integrated development of vehicles and batteries, Toyota aims to reduce the battery cost per vehicle by 50% compared to the Toyota bZ4X in the second half of the 2020s.

Maeda2

For next-generation liquid batteries, Toyota will take on the challenge of material evolution and structural innovation. Toyota also aims to commercialize all-solid-state batteries.

Maeda4

Last June, Toyota equipped a vehicle with all-solid-state batteries, conducted test runs on a test course, and obtained driving data. Based on that data, it continued to make improvements, and in August last year, Toyota obtained license plate registration for vehicles equipped with all-solid-state batteries and conducted test drives.

Maeda6

There are some things that we have learned during the development process. All-solid-state batteries are expected to have higher output because of the fast movement of ions within them. Therefore, we would like to take advantage of the favorable properties of all-solid-state batteries by also using them in HEVs.

On the other hand, we found that short service life was an issue. To solve this and other issues, we need to continue development, mainly of solid electrolyte materials. We feel that having identified an issue has brought us one step closer to commercialization.

—Masahiko Maeda

Comments

Davemart

The notion that TMC is in some way 'against batteries in cars' has not been true since their foundation, when development of what they call their 'Sakichi' battery, able to practically and importantly economically power cars.

Since then they have poured in billions, and still are.

They are not fans though of developing only for the well off, and being overly reliant on subsidy.

Anyone any idea of how this might be accomplished?

' For the vehicle, Toyota aims to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X. '

That sounds ambitious, given the high efficiency of present electric drive trains.

GasperG

30% is not just electric efficiency, but overall vehicle efficiency. That is easier, start with an SUV and then improve with Prius type shape :)

gryf

The Toyota LQ Concept shown during the Olympics has printed on the side "All Solid State Battery". So they definitely have a real world ASSB auto being tested and that will be 30% more efficient and 30% less costly to build. We hope the production auto looks more like the BZ4x rather than the LQ, and what does 30% more efficient really mean? Maybe better than the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus LFP which has 240 Wh/mile efficiency?
My guess is the battery is a Bipolar LFP battery with a Silicon/Carbon Anode (check Patent US20210249646A1 jointly held by Panasonic and Toyota). A 220 Wh/kg LFP battery in Bipolar configuration would give a Battery Pack Energy density of 200 Wh/kg (BTW Guoxuan, a Chinese battery cell maker already has an 212 Wh/kg LFP battery).
Panasonic and Belgium research company IMEC have been working on solid state electrolytes since 2017. Toyota already has in production a Bipolar NiMH battery for the Aqua hybrid. So all the tech should be production ready by 2023.
A $25k Toyota C-HR like BEV would be good competition for the upcoming $25k Tesla that is already in prototype and uses LFP batteries.

Davemart

Hi gryf.

The Toyota solid state is a sulfur based one, dunno if you have seen the info on it:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a33435923/toyota-solid-state-battery-2025/

gryf

The Toyota solid state sulfur possibly is based on a Sulfur based solid electrolyte - LiTi2(PS4)3 or LTPS which was discovered by Belgium’s Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) - references:
https://chargedevs.com/newswire/uclouvain-discovers-new-solid-state-material-with-high-lithium-diffusion-coefficient/
and
"Superionic diffusion through frustrated energy landscape",https://arxiv.org/pdf/1708.02997.pdf

IMEC role was in developing a production technique (https://www.imec-int.com/en/imec-magazine/imec-magazine-february-2020/battery-day-2020-shifting-gears-to-solid-state-battery-technology).

The current battery design is probably not a Lithium Metal battery or Anode free, which would be better however are still in development. The patent referenced is about Silicon Anodes. So the nearest term and lowest cost battery would have an LFP cathode. The Bipolar design makes the LFP almost as good as NMC batteries at significant cost reductions.

SJC

Toyota is working on a sulfur-based electrolyte, which would favor a more efficient transfer of lithium ions between the electrodes
https://insideevs.com/news/435933/covid19-prevented-toyota-solid-state-batteries/

sd

Some people on this site have more faith in Toyota than I have. The following is worth reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/climate/toyota-electric-hydrogen.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Also $14.3 Billion is considerably less than GM and Ford are investing.

sd

The only way you could increase the energy efficiency 30% over current BEVs would be greatly decreased weight and decreased aerodynamic drag. There is not that much to be gained in battery or electric motor efficiency.

Of course, Toyota could easily gain even more than 30% energy efficiency with its Mirai. Just take out the fuel cell and assorted hardware and put in a bigger and better battery.

sd

If you read the NY Times article you should also read some of the reader comments. Select the reader picks tab to order them. The top one read:

“Toyota was the largest corporate donor by far this year to Republicans in Congress who disputed the 2020 presidential election result.”

Seriously? You could have led with this. Was considering a Toyota for our next vehicle purchase this fall, no way now!

The rest of the top picks followed a similar theme. This is a corporation that deserves to fail.

Davemart

The article is behind a paywall.

I have not been able to check out the allegation that:

“Toyota was the largest corporate donor by far this year to Republicans in Congress who disputed the 2020 presidential election result.”

But am indeed disappointed if that is the case.

sd

Davemart,

I am sorry if the link to the NY Times was not free. I thought that there were a certain number of free stories per month but maybe the article is too old. I am a subscriber so I can not see that. The article is a bit long to copy in its entirety but here is the first 4 paragraphs which gives the jest of the article:


"The Toyota Prius hybrid was a milestone in the history of clean cars, attracting millions of buyers worldwide who could do their part for the environment while saving money on gasoline.

But in recent months, Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, has quietly become the industry’s strongest voice opposing an all-out transition to electric vehicles — which proponents say is critical to fighting climate change.

Last month, Chris Reynolds, a senior executive who oversees government affairs for the company, traveled to Washington for closed-door meetings with congressional staff members and outlined Toyota’s opposition to an aggressive transition to all-electric cars. He argued that gas-electric hybrids like the Prius and hydrogen-powered cars should play a bigger role, according to four people familiar with the talks.

Behind that position is a business quandary: Even as other automakers have embraced electric cars, Toyota bet its future on the development of hydrogen fuel cells — a costlier technology that has fallen far behind electric batteries — with greater use of hybrids in the near term. That means a rapid shift from gasoline to electric on the roads could be devastating for the company’s market share and bottom line."


Their basic problem is that they are behind in battery development. Most of the other large automotive companies gave up on fuel cells for light duty vehicles about 15 years ago. They made a bad bet and now they are trying to play catchup and lobbying the US and various state governments not to mandate zero emission vehicles by a certain date. If their lobbying efforts fail and, hopefully they will, Toyota will not have vehicles to sell in some of their larger markets.

Their other problem was that most of their plants are in the southern states where labor cost were lower so they were giving out donations to Republicans in Congress who disputed the 2020 presidential election result. After this made the news, they supposedly quit this practice as the majority of their customers were not in the group backing Trump and company and there were a lot of Toyota customers that made comments similar to one I posted. They should have been smart enough to know better. They should also have better corporate ethics.

gryf

The interesting part of this announcement relates to the Solid State Battery.
How close is it to production? Is it a Bipolar battery (Toyota has many patents, e.g. US20180053962A1 and JP6680644B2.
There are rumors that Apple was in talks with Toyota for production of the Apple Car in 2024. Is the Toyota Bipolar battery similar to the Apple Monocell battery?
Elon Musk said a "Monocell Battery" was not feasible because it would have low voltage. This is not a problem with a Bipolar and Parallel stack (check https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1149/1945-7111/abd493).
BEV also have a wide range of efficiency, Tesla is definitely the leader, though Lucid Air appears to be even better, just compare Electric vehicles at www.fueleconomy.gov.

SJC

Toyota donated more than $50,000 to Republicans who tried to block approval of the US President's win in some states
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57773010

Davemart

Thanks for the links and extracts, sd and SJC.

Actually, I am a bit relieved, as this looks to me more like a public relations screw up than an active bid to subvert democracy or whatever.
As SJCs BBC link says:

' The statement went on to say: "We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, we have decided to stop contributing to those Members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election."

The company also noted that its political action committee equally supported Democrats and Republicans, adding, "in 2021, the vast majority of the contributions went to Democrats and Republicans who supported the certification of the 2020 election."

Davemart

Bumbling politics aside, I agree with Toyota that:

' To the latter point, Maeda said that according to Toyota’s calculations, the CO2 reduction effect of three HEVs is almost equal to that of one BEV. Because Toyota can provide HEVs at a comparatively affordable price, in places where the use of renewable energy is to become widespread going forward, electrification using HEVs is among the effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions, he said.

More specifically, Toyota’s cumulative sales of HEVs have now reached as many as 18.1 million units.

Earlier, I mentioned that the CO2 emissions reduction effect of three HEVs is equivalent to the reduction effect of one BEV, and the 18.1 million HEVs sold to date are equivalent to the CO2 reduction effect of introducing to the market about 5.5 million BEVs.

The volume of batteries for HEVs that we have produced so far is the same as that of the batteries installed on about 260,000 BEVs.

In other words, we can say that the batteries needed for 260,000 BEVs have been used to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction effect of 5.5 million BEVs.
—Masahiko Maeda'

As although I fully support electrification, I do not support doing so by means of unlimited tax breaks and subsidies to the well off.

In much of Europe including the UK Tesla and other big battery BEVs are effectively free, courtesy of tax exemptions.

Every car could be a hybrid at a fraction of the cost, reducing total emissions far more.

I will welcome BEVs as they become more economic, not at any cost.

Just like Toyota, although without any contributions to Republicans! ;-)

sd

A few comments;

You can not get to zero emissions by making vehicles that emit CO2 even if they are better than other emitting vehicles and the longer it take to get rid of emitting vehicles, the longer it will take to fix the problem. A standard Camry gets 32 mpg while the hybrid gets 52 mpg so you still get ~60% of the CO2 emissions. Toyota's argument is just about being able to keep selling what they have. Their problem is that California, New York, and about 13 other states are going to ban non-zero emission light duty vehicles by 2035 and Toyota may not have a full range of vehicles to sell in their primary markets.

In the US, at least GM and Tesla have used up their incentives so there are no tax breaks. The base price for a 2022 Chevy Bolt is about $31,000 which is only about $4,000 more than a Toyota Camry Hybrid. The 2022 base price of the Battery-Electric Ford F-150 Lightening is just under $40,000 while the base price of the not so comparable 14 mpg Toyota Tundra is just over $37,000. No wonder that Ford had over 120,000 reservations a month ago.

Davemart

@sd:

I agree that you can't get to zero using vehicles which emit.
But transport and light vehicles are far from the only source of emissions, and funds must be sensibly spent.
So far BEVs have been massively regressive, with huge tax breaks for the well off, on the premise that that will rapidly drive down battery costs so that they are for 'everyman'

We now have lots more detail on what Toyota have to say on batteries:

https://insideevs.com/news/531990/toyota-bz4x-battery-capacity-durability/

https://insideevs.com/news/531932/toyota-outlines-strategy-batteries-electrification/

https://global.toyota/pages/news/images/2021/09/battery/battery_01_en_2.pdf

Look at who Toyota are associated with for batteries, and it is a who's who of battery producers, including CATL (LFP and sodium) Panasonic (4680) and others.

Toyota reckon that we can only knock back costs by 30% in the next decade with all of them putting their heads together.

Solid state so far is looking more suitable for HEVs than BEVs.

Other efficiency and durability improvements are possible, as they detail, but this is a long, long way from affordable BEVs at the bottom end of the market.

My view is that the long range BEV for everyone, and the story justifying massive tax breaks and subsidies, is fraying.

Maybe ZEV can be reached economically with solid state batteries in a PHEV/FCEV combo,. or whatever, but there would seem to be little chance of a truly affordable long range BEV.

yoatmon

I have the impression that too much emphasis - in regards to emissions - is placed upon the operation of the power train. I'm a dedicated BEV fan, but I also know that the production of metals comprising the chassis and body of any vehicle produces emissions as well as tires, glass and many other constituent parts of vehicles. These emissions are not beneficial and must also be reduced to a minimum.

Davemart

The chief concern with solid state that Toyota identify here is durability.

The recent advance by Monash in adding sugar to sulphur batteries may overcome this:

https://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2021/09/14/add-sugar-to-sulfur-to-beat-lithium-ion-batteries/

with Oxis now bankrupt and Toyota having hit battery, not cell level, production of solid state sulfur batteries they would appear to lead the race.

Since hassles making them in a dry environment are likely to make them expensive, at least at first, it is good that they have a ready made premium market for them in their association with Joby aviation.

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