Toyota, a pioneer in electric vehicle technology, has announced it will invest $13.6 billion in battery development over the next decade to remain on the cutting edge. Kana Inagaki reports in The Financial Times:
Toyota will invest ¥1.5tn ($13.6bn) in battery development and supply over the next decade as the world’s largest carmaker aims to stay ahead in the race for cheaper and longer-lasting electric and hybrid vehicles.
The Japanese group outlined its plans as it attempted to quell criticism it had been slow to shift to electric cars because of its dominance in hybrid vehicles that use both petrol and battery power.
Executives said the company, which has a partnership with Tesla supplier Panasonic, also remained on track to develop next generation solid-state batteries by 2025.
Solid-state batteries offer faster charging times, more travel range and are safer than the current generation of batteries that use liquid solutions, although Toyota said a short lifetime was a serious drawback.
“We can’t be optimistic yet and there are challenges,” said Masahiko Maeda, Toyota’s chief technology officer, at a briefing on Tuesday.
“We feel that having identified [the short lifetime as] an issue has brought us one step closer to commercialisation,” he said, adding that the company would use solid-state batteries in hybrids as a way to bring the technology to the markets faster.
Read more here.