Thus far, Toyota has lagged behind its rivals when it comes to electric vehicles. However, the company's plans for new solid-state batteries could leapfrog it forward—if the technology can be made viable for mass production.
As reported by Automotive News, Toyota plans to release two solid-state batteries by the end of the decade. As discussed at an all-day executive briefing, company figures explained that the new technology is key to the company's plans to electrify its lineup. Toyota has recently been under fire from shareholders and activists alike for being behind the curve when it comes to EVs. However, its current tech strategy aims to leapfrog the Japanese automaker to the head of the pack in the coming years.
Toyota's immediate goal is to produce better lithium-ion batteries while solid-state battery tech is still spinning up. Toyota has a next-generation lithium-ion battery pack in the works for 2026 that will give future vehicles up to 621 miles of range, double that of its current bZ4X electric SUV. It's slated to cost 20% less than existing batteries and be capable of going from 10 to 80% charge in just 20 minutes. A range of other lithium-based designs are slated from 2026 onwards to cut costs and improve performance compared to modern designs, too.
If those numbers sound impressive, they're nothing compared to what the solid-state offerings will bring. Toyota's first solid-state battery is expected in 2027, offering a 20% range boost compared to the aforementioned lithium pack for a total of around 745 miles. Even better, recharge times are expected to be around 10 minutes.
From there, a second, more advanced solid-state battery is expected to hit the market sometime after 2028. Toyota expects it to offer 50% more range than that 2026 lithium-ion pack, suggesting a driving range on the order of 932 miles.
Of course, wild claims about the capabilities of solid-state batteries are nothing new. However, when coming from a stable, trusted industry player like Toyota, those claims have more weight. The company has long been investing in the technology, with patents filed and prototypes in testing.
The trick will be in getting the tech to a road-ready state where it can be affordably produced in the millions. Current solid-state batteries have issues with longevity and cost. The reason they're still years away is that manufacturers need time to solve dendritic growth issues as well as bring manufacturing expenses down before they become mainstream in the auto industry.
Despite its slow start, Toyota's goal is to be selling 3.5 million electrified vehicles a year by 2030. Models with huge range courtesy of advanced batteries should make achieving that all the more plausible. Assuming it can make solid-state batteries work, the future is looking bright at Toyota.
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