If true, experts believe Toyota’s claim of a battery with massive range and quick charge could alter the path of electric vehicles.
The Japanese automaker — which has dragged its feet in electrifying its vehicle fleet — said it believes it has simplified production and developed ways to make batteries more durable. That could allow the company to make a solid-state battery with a range of 1,200 km (745 miles) that could charge in 10 minutes or less. It would be simpler to manufacture than a conventional lithium-ion battery.
However, skeptics are wary. CleanTechnica, a cleantech news and analysis outlet, noted that details are lacking. People are looking for information on the number of charging cycles possible, how the batteries perform in cold temperatures and more.
“As it turns out, the latest news from Toyota is a lot of huffing and puffing without much substance to it,” said author Steve Hanley, adding that the announcement should be taken with a grain of salt due to the lack of details.
It also has industry expert James Carter cautious about what may lay ahead. As a former Toyota employee, he noted that Toyota at one time was well-trusted for its announcements. But with its hesitation towards EVs, push on hydrogen and pushback on proposals to reduce emissions, things are different now.
“Unfortunately, this loss of confidence means it’s hard to consider Toyota’s battery announcements as much more worthy than a well-funded startup,” Carter said in a LinkedIn post. “I’ll believe it when it’s in a production car with customers putting miles on it.”
However, battery technology is improving. Much money is being put to developing better EV batteries.
“I don’t at all doubt that we’ll get to the levels Toyota is talking about, but when that is, and who’ll do it first with high cycle life is still very much an open question,” Carter said.