Safer and promising greater autonomy, new solid-state batteries without liquid electrolyte will debut in 2021 on a vehicle launched by Toyota
Solid-state battery technology could open a new chapter in the history of electric cars, reducing or eliminating many of the disadvantages they have over alternatives equipped with heat engines.
Compared to conventional Li-ion batteries, solid-state ones are composed of less volatile substances and higher tolerance to high temperatures. These two features allow the more compact assembly to increase the autonomy of the vehicles, but also the use of higher charging currents, shortening the waiting time.
At the same time, the need for fewer safety systems and thermal management of batteries translates into reduced costs for the manufacture of the next generations of electric cars. Thus, buyers will have options with fewer compromises in the low-cost range, while the range of 500-1000 km becomes common on models of vehicles with medium-superior equipment.
Toyota promises for the first prototype model a range of 500 km and waiting time for full charge of solid-state batteries of only 10 minutes, comparable to a full tank of gasoline.
Earlier, the manufacturer Nissan also confirmed plans for the development of solid-state batteries, but the target set for the unveiling of a vehicle ready for the road is only 2028.
Interestingly, an oil company known as Idemitsu Kosan is building a platform for the production of electrolytes for solid-state batteries, refurbishing one of its current production facilities. Plans are to start operations next year. Solid electrolytes require solidifying sulfides, which the metal and chemical industries already produce.
Although ambitious, Toyota’s promises are backed by more than 1,000 patents granted to the company for innovations in solid-state batteries.