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Toyota’s Betting Big on a Better Battery

Toyota Motors just hit the newswires with big plans to expand their production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and the Japanese government is subsidizing it to the tune of approximately $853 million. The BHAGs they’re gunning for? Bolster domestic output and get a lot less reliant on supply chains connected to China.

Why is this subsidy so important right now? Well, Japanese companies, including key Tesla supplier Panasonic, currently hold less than a 10 percent share in the automotive battery market. On the other hand, Chinese suppliers such as CATL and BYD control over half of the market, as stated by both SNE Research and Nikkei. 

Toyota intends to utilize the subsidy funds to develop the next generation of lithium-ion EV batteries, which will utilize bipolar lithium iron phosphate (LFP) technology. These batteries have the potential to provide electric vehicles with a 20 percent increase in range and cost about 40 percent less than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries found in Toyota’s bZ4X crossover.

Toyota is likely to start producing these next-gen batteries around 2026 or 2027. At that time, purpose-built electric vehicles based on a new platform will hit the market, boasting an impressive advertised range of around 600 miles (965 kilometers) on a single charge.

Toyota also plans to allocate a portion of the subsidy to research and development efforts for its all-solid-state batteries, which are expected to further enhance the driving range of their EVs by about 20 percent compared to the bipolar LFP packs. That could mean approximately 720 miles (1,158 km) of zero-emissions travel. Impressive, right?

Just recently, the Nippon car group, which currently sells only two all-electric vehicles in the United States—the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RX crossovers—unveiled an ambitious roadmap. As part of this plan, they aim to introduce an all-new EV platform by 2026 and develop EV batteries that can potentially offer over 900 miles (1,448 km) of range after 2028. Their long-term goal, and the question everyone is wondering, is to go all electric. According to their Chief Operating Officer, this will happen by 2035.

Exciting times lie ahead for Toyota as they make significant strides in the EV market, aiming to improve battery technology, increase range, and reduce costs. With these developments, they hope to do their part in the growth of EV adoption while also focusing on solutions that solve the most pressing owner complaints.

If you’d like to dig deeper, check out Koji Sato, Toyota’s new President & CEO, sharing his vision and plans here.

By evee Life Contributor

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