A range of 1,200 km with a charging time of 10 minutes: Toyota would have found a solution for such a “miracle battery”.
In the incessant and sometimes thorny debate on the autonomy of electric vehicles, a fundamental question persists: what is the ideal autonomy for an electric car? And what should be the ideal charging speed? There is no universal answer to these questions, as users’ needs can vary. But for tech visionary Elon Musk, the answer is clear: more than 1,000 km of range is useless.
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From a practical point of view, he may be right. After all, why pack hundreds of kilograms of battery if you don’t use the full range regularly? Especially since the network of superchargers is growing at lightning speed, making long autonomy less and less necessary. Moreover, even a range of 400 km makes it possible to cross France, as we had proven with a Paris – Marseille. Provided you have a car that charges quickly.
However, the recent announcement from Japanese automaker Toyota may well turn the tables.
Imagine an electric car capable of traveling 1,200 km on a single charge, and which could be recharged in less than 10 minutes. What if Elon Musk’s vision was about to be undermined?
” THE batteries are currently too big, too heavy and too expensive. We want to change that radically in our batteries”
According to Keiji Kaita, president of Toyota’s carbon neutrality research and development center, the Japanese manufacturer has made a significant breakthrough in the field of batteries for electric cars.
” THE batteries are currently too big, too heavy and too expensive. We want to change that radically in our batteries”, said Keiji Kaita, hinting at a halving of these factors. This statement revives the heated debate on the autonomy of electric cars, which most manufacturers are constantly trying to increase.
According to Keiji Kaita, Toyota discovered a method to overcome the stability problems of solid-state batteries three years ago. The company is now convinced thatit will be able to mass-produce this type of battery for electric vehicles by 2027 or 2028.
This ” technological breakthrough » promises a range of 1,200 km for an electric car and a charging time of 10 minutes or less. These figures are significantly higher than current industry standards, where a range of 500 km is already considered very good and where fast charging times are generally around half an hour for a full charge. However, the first cars with 1,000 km of autonomy arrive.
Moreover, this is not the first time that a company has announced a revolutionary battery. And this is not the first time that Toyota has mentioned this technology.
In terms of production costs, these batteries could be on a par with lithium-ion batteries or even lower, thanks to a simplification of the manufacturing process for battery materials.
Technological progress and challenges of solid electrolyte
The solid state battery, also called solid electrolyte battery, represents a great hope for the future of electric cars. In effect, it offers higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, thus allowing greater autonomy. Moreover, solid electrolyte is non-flammable, reducing the risk of overheating and fire.
However, these batteries present significant technical challenges. ” Solid electrolytes expand and contract as the battery charges and discharges, which can create cracks that impede the movement of ions between cathode and anode “, explained Keiji Kaita.
Toyota has reportedly developed technology to overcome these problems. If these claims are true, this could represent a major turning point in the evolution of electric vehicles.
Toyota tries to catch up
Toyota, which has long bet on hybrid and hydrogen vehicles, announced in December 2021 its intention to launch 30 fully electric car models by 2030.
The objective is to reach 3.5 million worldwide sales of electric vehicles, with an important place for the European market. Lexus, the group’s luxury brand, is expected to offer only electric cars from 2030, while Toyota’s entire lineup will only offer zero-emission vehicles from 2035, likely including hydrogen cars.
It must be said that the atmosphere at Toyota must be special in recent months. While the Japanese manufacturer has consistently placed its Toyota Corolla as the best-selling car in the world for several years, the situation has changed dramatically at the start of the year. It is now Tesla who holds this title, since the Model Y is the best-selling car in the worldall engines combined, in the first months of 2023.