Toyota solid state battery- new breakthroughs and development history

In terms of mass production, cost and manufacturing, solid state battery has always faced many challenges. Whoever overcome costs and mass production problems will take the lead in seizing the market. According to the Financial Times, the new Toyota solid state battery will be mass-produced in 2027. With the mass production of Toyota solid state battery, the entire electric vehicle industry may usher in a new round of innovation.
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New breakthroughs of Toyota solid state battery

According to a report by the Financial Associated Press, Toyota said on July 4, 2023 that it has made a major breakthrough in solid state battery technology. The weight, volume and cost of Toyota solid state battery will be halved, and the battery life can reach 1,200 kilometers after charging for 10 minutes or less. And the battery production process has been greatly simplified, reducing the cost of the next-generation technology.

Toyota, the world’s second-largest automaker, is already pursuing a plan to launch electric vehicles with advanced Toyota solid state battery by 2025.


Kaida Keiji, president of Toyota’s Carbon Neutral R&D Center, said: “Whether it is a liquid battery or a solid state battery, our goal is to completely change the current situation where batteries are too large, too heavy, and too expensive. In terms of potential in this regard, we will strive to halve these factors.”

Kaida notes that the company has developed ways to improve battery durability and believes it can now create solid state batteries with a range of 1,200 kilometers and a charge time of 10 minutes or less. David Bailey, professor of business economics at the University of Birmingham, believes that if Toyota’s claims are true, this could be a milestone moment for the future of electric vehicles.

Development history of Toyota solid state battery

Toyota is recognized in the industry as one of the most powerful manufacturers in the field of solid state batteries. Toyota has always adhered to the sulfide route in the field of all-solid-state batteries, and already has more than 1,000 patents. As early as August 2020, Toyota electric vehicles equipped with all-solid-state batteries have obtained licenses and started driving tests.

Despite its strong technical strength, Toyota’s research in the field of Toyota solid state battery has not been smooth, and the mass production time of Toyota solid state battery has been delayed several times. Today, Toyota solid state battery has set the mass production time to 2027-2028. It can be seen that the research and development and mass production of solid state batteries are difficult, and Toyota’s persistence and insistence on solid state batteries are also seen.

By 2025, Toyota solid state battery will achieve small-scale mass production and first carried on hybrid models. By 2030, Toyota solid state battery should achieve continuous and stable production.

“During the development process, we learned that the ions in the all-solid-state battery will move at high speeds in the battery to achieve high power output, and we hope that this feature can be used in hybrid vehicles to take advantage of the benefits of all-solid-state batteries.” says Toyota.


In 2021, Toyota Motor announced that by 2030, it is expected to invest 1.5 trillion JPY in the development of power batteries and its battery supply chain, with a view to taking the lead in key automotive technologies in the next decade and maintaining lasting competitiveness in the price of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced on June 16, 2023 that it will provide subsidies for Toyota’s planned battery investment.

One of the subsidies is lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP), although it will also vigorously develop the all-solid-state battery, which is regarded as a strong candidate for the next generation of batteries, but Toyota believes that the lithium iron phosphate battery can be produced at a low cost is the key to the electric strategy, so it plans to accelerate development.

The total amount of Toyota EV-related business targeted for subsidies is expected to reach about 330 billion JPY, of which 117.8 billion JPY will be provided by the subsidies of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Toyota will increase annual production capacity by 25kwh by strengthening EV battery production lines including the Himeji plant of Prime Planet Energy&Solutions (PPES), a battery company jointly funded with Panasonic Holdings.


Advantages of solid state battery

The lithium ion battery anode, cathode and electrolyte (electrolyte and diaphragm), are the three important components of liquid lithium ion batteries. Solid state batteries, as the name suggests, replace a liquid electrolyte with a solid. The battery materials commonly used are sulfides, polymers and oxides, and the anode of the battery can also be replaced with lithium metal.

The biggest advantage of this design is that it can increase the energy density of the battery. Because the density of solids is much higher than that of liquids, the energy density of solid state batteries is at least twice that of liquid lithium ion batteries. For example, the energy density of the CATL Kirin battery is 255 Wh/kg, and the solid state battery can easily achieve 500 Wh/kg.

At the same time, because the metal lithium in the solid state battery can be directly used as the anode, it is not only better than the traditional graphite negative electrode, but also does not need lithium battery separator and other structures, that is, it can make the battery lighter and thinner.

Moreover, the stability of solid state batteries is much higher than that of liquid lithium batteries. It is easy for liquid lithium batteries to appear lithium dendrites inside after being used for a long time. It is just like a needle that slowly grows out of the cathode and gets longer and longer over time.

When it’s long enough to puncture the separator, the battery will short-circuit. Once the battery pack is damaged due to external forces, it is easy to lose control of temperature under the influence of short circuit and high temperature, and eventually lead to battery smoke, fire or even explosion.

The electrolytes of solid state batteries are polymers, oxides, sulfides, high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, not easy to volatilize, and basically no risk of spontaneous combustion. Even if the external force really penetrates and punctures, there is a high probability that rapid spontaneous combustion and explosion will not occur, which means solid state battery has more advantages in li ion battery safety.


Difficulties in mass production of solid-state batteries

According to Huatai Securities Research Report, it is estimated that the global solid state battery market space will exceed 300 billion RMB in 2030. Faced with such a huge market, all countries are actively planning to seize the opportunity.

Thirty years ago, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States claimed to have created a solid-state battery, but unfortunately it has not been able to achieve mass production so far. In the past two years, with the popularity of new energy vehicles in the world, companies have repeatedly reported the progress of mass production of solid state batteries. Behind the hot solid state battery market, there are still many shortcomings that cannot be ignored.

The mass production of solid state batteries faces many challenges such as material problems, interface problems, and engineering problems. It is also a difficult hurdle for battery manufacturers, because the current cost of semi-solid batteries is much higher than that of commercial liquid batteries.

According to industry research and calculations, taking NCM811 liquid batteries and NCM811 semi-solid batteries as examples, the cost of semi-solid batteries is about 80% higher than that of liquid batteries. Among them, the cost of solid electrolyte is the main new cost and the main cost in semi-solid batteries, accounting for about 50%.

Due to factors such as changes in electrolyte materials, changes in production processes, and long engineering verification cycles caused by insufficient product quality control experience, all-solid-state batteries will cost more than semi-solid-state batteries.

To measure whether a power battery can be mass-produced in the end, there are mainly five indicators, namely energy density, charge-discharge rate performance, cost, safety and cycle life. The laboratory research results of power batteries generally achieve a major breakthrough in one or several indicators at a certain stage, and mass production is possible only if the requirements of five indicators are met at the same time.

Therefore, the technological breakthrough in Toyota solid state battery is of far-reaching significance to the electric vehicle industry.


New progress in global solid state battery technology

Although solid state battery technology still faces many challenges, it is still the goal pursued by the lithium battery industry. It is understood that Japanese companies have invested the most in solid state batteries globally, including Toyota, which has the most patents for solid state battery technology.

The good news is that according to reports, Professor Ma Cheng from the University of Science and Technology of China has developed a new type of solid state electrolyte. Its overall performance is similar to that of the most advanced sulfide and chloride solid state electrolytes, but the cost is less than 4% of the latter. Suitable for industrial application.

While having a strong cost advantage, the comprehensive performance of lithium zirconium oxychloride is comparable to the most advanced sulfide and chloride solid-state electrolytes.

Experiments have proved that the all-solid-state lithium battery composed of lithium zirconium oxychloride and high-nickel ternary positive electrode has demonstrated excellent performance: under the condition of fast charging for 12 minutes, the battery still successfully cycles at room temperature for more than 2000 cycles.

According to the researchers, lithium zirconium oxychloride can achieve performance similar to that of the most advanced sulfide and chloride solid-state electrolytes at the current lowest cost, which is of great significance to the industrialization of all-solid-state lithium batteries.

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