Electric vehicles (EVs) are considered key when steering the future of the automotive industry, so finding ways to make EVs more efficient and driver-friendly is integral when it comes to navigating new strategies along this route.
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With demand for EVs continuing to soar, manufacturers are trying to keep up with consumer demand while ensuring key expectations are met. While current technologies are as advanced as they have been, there are still a number of challenges the automotive industry must address when it comes to EVs, such as driving ranges and costs.
Japanese Car Manufacturer Toyota, the world’s leading automotive manufacturer, has recently announced it will concentrate its efforts on battery electric vehicle (BEV) technology with the launch of a dedicated BEV factory which will produce revolutionary, evolving batteries to meet consumer expectations and lower the price of BEVs in the long term.
“Let’s Change The Future of Cars”
With a strong emphasis on transforming the future of BEVs under the motto “Let’s Change The Future of Cars,” Toyota is looking to improve energy densities and performance for BEVs.
While possessing a wealth of expertise in lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, Toyota aims to introduce next-generation Bipolar batteries as it takes this technology from its HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) to BEV manufacturing.
Furthermore, the company has announced its eagerly anticipated all-solid-state batteries will be moving into the practical application phase for use in BEVs. This will offer consumers a wider range of choices when it comes to BEVs as Toyota moves into a development partnership with Prime Planet Energy and Solutions Corporation.
Toyota claims that by 2026 the next generation square battery it is developing for use in its BEVs will be able to facilitate a cruising range of 1000 km (around 620 miles).1 Moreover, due to this focus on improving driving range efficiencies, Toyota states that consumers should expect to see advances in battery aerodynamics as well as weight reduction with faster charging times.
The good news does not stop there as the company also announced that costs would be reduced by 20 percent, and it is setting its sights on offering customers a wider range of choices through the continued development of low-cost batteries that will help facilitate the growing number of BEVs hitting the roads.
Bipolar and Solid State High-performance Batteries
Having already seen success with bipolar technology in HEVs, Toyota is carrying this concept over into BEVs, chasing high-performance qualities across all future manufacturing to revolutionize the automotive industry.
Bipolar batteries have such a name due to the bipolar electrodes (anode and cathode) contained inside a battery module, which differ from monopolar insofar as both electrodes are applied onto the same distributor foil, allowing them to be stacked and electrically wired in sequence.
On the other hand, all-solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid ones, making them safer as they are at a lower risk of overheating compared to existing technologies. Toyota is also focusing on enhancing energy densities in this area to further improve BEV cruising ranges and hopes to initiate mass production between 2027 and 2028.
Yet, making BEVs more efficient does not start and end with battery technology but also requires advanced manufacturing methods and enhancements in areas such as parts and vehicle structure.
Amongst the advanced manufacturing techniques on offer at the new BEV factory will be Giga casting which allows for more complex geometries for optimizing vehicle parts whilst eliminating waste.
The BEV factory will also include a self-propelling assembly line and will introduce new intelligent digital technologies for a better understanding of processes in order to make additional improvements and keep all BEV technology future-proof.
Hoping to become the future pioneer of BEV technology through innovation and creative manufacturing, Toyota anticipates that the three central approaches to its realization are “electrification, intelligence, and diversification.”
References and Further Reading
- Toyota unveils new technology that will change the future of Cars (2023) Toyota Media Site. Available at: https://media.toyota.co.uk/toyota-unveils-new-technology-that-will-change-the-future-of-cars/.