Toyota’s New Solid-State Battery Technology and Potential Risks

Toyota, this car manufacturer, sometimes really leaves people guessing about their intentions. Sometimes, it makes people feel like this can only be something that Toyota, a company leading a comfortable life, would do.
Toyota's New Solid-State Battery Technology and Potential Risks

According to reports from foreign media, Haida Keiji, the President of Toyota’s Carbon Neutral R&D Center, stated, “Whether it’s liquid batteries or solid-state batteries, our goal is to completely change the current situation of batteries being too large, heavy, and expensive. In this aspect, we aim to reduce these factors by half.” He also mentioned that the company has developed methods to enhance battery durability and believes that they can now manufacture solid-state batteries with a range of 1200 kilometers and charging times of 10 minutes or less. The company’s official statement further indicates that this innovative solid-state battery will enter mass production in 2027.

In the realm of internal combustion and hybrid vehicles, Toyota has been a leader worldwide. There’s even a saying that has been circulating: “There are only two types of hybrids in the world, Toyota and others.” However, with the global trend towards electrification of vehicles, Toyota seems to have a limited presence in the booming global market for purely electric new energy vehicles. Despite being a major player, Toyota hasn’t taken on a strong leadership role. Additionally, Toyota’s management has publicly opposed electric vehicles and the new energy industry, advocating against a “complete transition of car manufacturers to the electric EV era, and not giving up on internal combustion vehicles.” Just a month ago, Toyota invited fellow Japanese carmakers Honda, Mazda, and Mitsubishi to jointly resist electric cars, stating that “electric cars are not environmentally friendly nor the future; hydrogen energy is the ultimate solution.” Not long after, Toyota expressed its strong commitment to developing solid-state batteries, which might lead people to think they are playing both sides of the coin.

Toyota’s claimed solid-state battery technology, if a full solid-state battery could truly provide a range of 1200 kilometers after a 10-minute charge while reducing costs, weight, and size by half, would be a significant technological breakthrough. Such battery performance would greatly enhance the practicality and competitiveness of electric vehicles, effectively addressing the charging and range limitations and potentially marking the exit of internal combustion vehicles from the stage of history. However, Toyota’s progress in the electric vehicle business has been notably slow. Despite having a foundation in the field of new energy, Toyota’s recent flurry of related announcements raises questions about whether they are merely releasing smokescreens.

Toyota, which speaks one way but acts another, has united several Japanese companies to resist “vigorous development of electric cars” while simultaneously accelerating electric vehicle technology research and development. It’s like a student who claims not to read books in front of others but uses cramming tactics in private. Toyota’s “diversified” new energy vehicle products in electric, hybrid, and hydrogen categories are not only low-carbon but also diversified. Regarding Toyota’s grand plan, we cannot completely believe it, nor can we entirely dismiss it. Toyota’s ambitious statements can be seen as a reminder and a warning to Chinese carmakers.

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