Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, is to spend more than $13.5bn on battery development by 2030. The firm says it is on track to bring solid-state batteries to market by 2025.
The FT reports that Toyota is the market leader when it comes to petrol-electric hybrid vehicles but wants to slash the cost of its batteries as the market shifts towards fully electric vehicles.
The firm says it will look for lower cost materials and a more efficient way to structure its battery cells. It is aiming to improve power consumption by 30 per cent for the Toyota bZ4X, which is due to be launched soon.
The $13.5bn investment will also go towards the introduction of 70 electric vehicle battery lines, which together will be capable of producing 200 gigawatt hours of battery power.
Solid-state batteries promise greater range, faster charging and cheaper production, but are yet to become commercially viable.
In May, Ford and BMW increased investment in Denver-based solid state battery firm, Solid Power, with hopes that production could start next year.
This was followed by Volkswagen and BMW taking a stake in another US solid state battery start-up, QuantumScape, before a consortium of UK institutions last month agreed to work together to try and bring solid state batteries to market.
Toyota has tested a solid-state battery vehicle prototype and chief technology officer, Masahiko Maeda, said that despite a short battery lifetime proving an issue, plans in this area remained on track.
“We can’t be optimistic yet and there are challenges,” he said. “We feel that having identified it as an issue has brought us one step closer to commercialisation.”
Toyota is aiming to sell eight million electric vehicles by 2030, but anticipates that of these only two million will be powered entirely by batteries with the remainder being hybrids.