Being able to consistently manufacture a solid-state battery for use in electric vehicles would give Toyota an edge over rivals like Nissan, Tesla, and Daimler, assuming those companies aren't also able to bring battery advances to their cars in the next five years.
"The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge", said "the father of the Prius", Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, in 2012. Moreover, solid state batteries are more durable and safer compared to lithium -ion batteries.
The company didn't comment on the specific platform, but they did confirm that they plan "to commercialize all-solid-state batteries by the early 2020s".
The improved battery technology would make it possible to create smaller, more lightweight lithium-ion batteries for use in EVs, that could also potentially boost the total charge capacity and result in longer-range vehicles.
Solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid ones, making them safer than lithium-ion batteries now on the market.
No further information about the auto is available at this point in time. No one wants their vehicle to run out of juice far from a charging station, and then to wait half an hour for it to charge back up.
Toyota isn't saying yet where its batteries will end up, but any edge here is bound to be a big boon for automakers looking at a future that increasingly seems like it'll be dominated by EVs.