Toyota to spend $13.5 bln to develop electric vehicle battery tech by 2030

Employees walk in the new Toyota Motor Corp plant in Apaseo El Grande in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, Mexico, February 6, 2020. REUTERS / Sergio Maldonado

TOKYO, Sep 7 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said Tuesday it is expected to spend more than $ 13.5 billion on battery development and its battery supply system by 2030 to be a leader in key automotive technology over the next decade.

The world’s largest-volume automaker, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is quickly working to bring its first all-electric product line to market next year.

Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota is committed to reducing the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the structure of the cells.

“Then we aim to improve the vehicle’s power consumption, which is an indicator of power consumption per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X,” said Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda in a briefing, referring to an upcoming compact -SUV model.

The company is also the front runner in mass production of solid-state batteries – a potential game changer for automakers because they have higher energy density, charge faster, and are less prone to fire. If successfully developed, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries. Continue reading

While the company was still struggling with the short lifespan of these cells, Maeda said Toyota’s goal to start manufacturing solid-state batteries by the mid-2020s has not changed.

“We’re still looking for the best materials we can use,” he said.

Efforts to mass-produce solid-state batteries have failed because they are expensive to manufacture and are prone to cracking when they expand and contract during use.

Toyota also planned to use solid-state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles like the Prius, it said.

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), the world’s second largest automaker, said Tuesday it may need to spend more to implement its planned transformation towards autonomous driving and electric vehicles.

The German company, which plans to invest 150 billion euros ($ 178 billion) in its business by 2025, has repeatedly announced that it will be able to fund this transition based on current cash flow. Continue reading

($ 1 = 109,8500 yen)

($ 1 = 0.8429 euros)

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Letter from Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Edmund Blair

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.