Electric cars may be the future, but the technology has to overcome some challenges before it reaches mass adoption. Toyota thinks the biggest of these hurdles is the current battery technology, and it intends to change that.
Toyota is currently the largest car manufacturer on the planet, but until now, it hasn't shown much interest in developing electric vehicles. However, this won't be the case anymore as the company is said to be launching its first electric car platform in 2022.
According to a Chinese daily called Chunichi Shimbun, the new platform will be powered by solid state batteries that will provide significantly faster charging time and longer ranges. For perspective, current electric vehicles use Li-ion batteries that need 20-30 minutes to charge and have a range of around 300-400 kilometers. While these seem very promising, the car manufacturer is still planning to produce EVs with existing design and battery technology in 2019 for the Chinese market.
Solid state batteries use solid electrodes and electrolytes which are good conductors of ions. These batteries can get very dense which in turn makes them charge faster than its current equivalents. The batteries are also very safe since they don't show extreme reactions to temperature delta and are immune to leakage.
Earlier this year, when Toyota unveiled its first self-driving car, it seemed quite inevitable that the company would soon produce its own electric vehicles. While 2022 may seem like a long way off, it's worth noting that these technologies need time to mature. After all, many would prefer a solid schedule, to the false promise of flying cars for everyone any day.