Featured Finally! Toyota is investing in large scale battery plans

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by PriusCamper, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Whatever the many reasons Toyota has taken so long to make this announcement... And yes it's just a bunch of promises, it's still a big step forward for leadership that have been a stick in the mud when it comes to transitioning to all electric vehicles

    I'm sure we're all a little bit relieved that they are no longer gonna be anti-electric fossil fools claiming hybrid cars are superior to all-electric. It took a long time for them to accept that the future market requires major investments in all electric, not just resting on their already established hybrids:
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    TOKYO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Tuesday it expected to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system, in a bid to take a lead in the key automotive technology over the next decade.

    The world's largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year.

    Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aimed to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.

    "Then, for the vehicle, we aim to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30%, starting with the Toyota bZ4X," Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda told a briefing, referring to an upcoming compact SUV model.

    The company is also the front runner to mass produce solid-state batteries - a potential game changer for automakers because they are more energy dense, charge faster and are less prone to catching fire. If developed successfully, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries.

    While it was still struggling with the short service life of these cells, Maeda said there was no change in Toyota's target to begin manufacturing solid-state batteries by the mid 2020s.

    "We are still searching for the best materials to use," he said.

    Efforts to mass produce solid-state batteries have stumbled as they are expensive to manufacture and are prone to crack when they expand and contract during use.

    Toyota also planned to use solid-state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles such as the Prius, it said.
    Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), the world's second-largest automaker, said on Tuesday it might have to spend more to deliver its planned transformation towards autonomous driving and EVs.

    The German firm, which plans to invest 150 billion euros ($178 billion) in its business by 2025, has repeatedly said it could fund this transition based on current cash flows.

    ($1 = 109.8500 yen)
    ($1 = 0.8429 euros)

    Reporting by Tim Kelly; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Edmund Blair
    Toyota to spend $13.5 bln to develop electric vehicle battery tech by 2030 | Reuters
     
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  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    With engines becoming more efficient, thus needing smaller fuel tanks, a SS battery could simply just slot in where the fuel tank size has been reduced with minimal intrusion into the cabin (or just slot into the spare tyre well).

    For countries where electricity supply is unstable, unreliable or too dirty in production, hybrids can help reduce local emissions. (Remember, not everyone in the world can afford EVs or have the infrastructure in place to own one. We're all not the United States).
     
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    While it's true that not everyone can afford an EV, it's not very expensive compared to the trillions of dollars of long term damage to the planet, as well as human infrastructure due to global air pollution at scale.

    We live in a new era where the all time hottest temperatures in the cool Pacific Northwest are now hotter than the hottest all time temperatures in Miami. Last Summer up here in the last few days in June we had a heat wave where nearly a thousand people died of heat stroke in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. How many more will have to die just because government fossil fool subsidies aren't being turned into EV subsidies?

    "More than 10 million people die each year from air pollution, according to a new study — far more than the estimated 2.6 million people who have died from Covid-19 since it was detected more than a year ago. And while Covid is headline news, ordinary air pollution remains a side issue for policy wonks and technocrats." https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-03-10/air-pollution-kills-far-more-people-than-covid-ever-will

    If there was no subsidies for gas, you'd be paying $20 a gallon and suddenly an EV would be way more affordable than a regular car or even a hybrid car. And if fossil fuel subsidies were transferred to EV, the transition to save our planet, as well as save lives could happen very quickly.
     
    #3 PriusCamper, Sep 7, 2021
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  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    I look forward to seeing a credible Toyota EV.

    Bob Wilson
     
  5. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    According to the article, Toyota-made solid-state batteries have a short service life and crack during use. It is not very encouraging.
     
  6. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Many in developing countries can get by with electric motorcycles/mopeds and small short range EVs (50 miles).
    I was in Nepal 2+ years ago and saw lots of e-bikes and e-motorcycles. Charged via a solar panel on the roof of their huts. I should add...many had no electricity. Those that did had one or two LED lights and not much else in the remote areas.

    Mike
     
    #6 3PriusMike, Sep 7, 2021
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  7. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    That's true of all of the companies working on solid stat batteries. They express optimism that they will overcome obstacles but who knows.

    Here is an example: Electric vehicles are here, the future is solid - QuantumScape They make it sound great but year to date their stock is down by half.
     
  8. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    QuantumScape is actually by far the most promising of all. They are just starting to build their prepilot factory, and it will be seen if they will actually be able to mass-produce solid-state battery packs that will go into test EVs, which is a big leap from them currently making a few cells a month.
     
    #8 Gokhan, Sep 7, 2021
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  9. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Excellent point!!! Just because you don't have electricity in your house doesn't mean you can't have a phone or electric personal transportation. As long as you have regular access to a solar panel and its management system...
     
  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Isn't it a question of when:whistle:?

    I'm sure we'll learn soon about who their audience is and why it takes so long to get there(y).
     
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  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Their audience is definitely their primary investors who have been adamant about Toyota focusing on proprietary technology, rather than just using what everyone is using. Their hydrogen strategy didn't pan out, so now its on to solid state. And while that can seem pretty straightforward in theory, not so much in practice. Or as Elon Musk once explained: designing a prototype is so much easier than mass producing it into a reliable product that in comparison between the two the effort it takes to do the mass production part puts the challenge of the prototype part at near zero effort.

    I wonder if this announcement is because they finally figured it out, or just creating more funding pressure so they find a way to figure it out?
     
  12. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Member

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    Toyota have been fairly consistent in saying they are working on multiple technologies and not just focusing on one. i.e as per VW focusing just on BEV's. Does this press release really change anything ? ... or is it just a clarification on estimated spending on batteries, which was already part of their plan for virtually all their cars by 2030.
     
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  13. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Let's be cautioned that these claims of battery and EV production by all companies at this point are wild speculations, and they should be taken with a grain of salt. No one knows what the next several years will bring in terms of battery and EV production and technology.

    A good example of a company with wild speculations is Solid Power, which is trying to go through another SPAC merger. Until last year, they claimed that they have successfully built a lithium-metal solid-state battery, but now, they say that they are building a silicon-rich-anode lithium-ion solid-state battery instead, with the lithium-metal plans pushed back to 2028. Yet, they claim that they will build batteries for 800,000 EVs a year. Both the lithium-metal and silicon-rich-anode lithium-ion technologies are extremely challenging, as the former is susceptible to prohibitive dendrite formation and the latter to gigantic volume expansion, and as a result, no one has built either of them to date; yet, they make these claims without showing a single piece of data for a prototype cell.

    https://s28.q4cdn.com/717221730/files/doc_presentations/Solid-Power-Investor-Presentation-June-2021-Final.pdf
     
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  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Curious to know the actual substance behind those claims because any major automaker's PR department can say that and it will be mostly true... And as I previously stated, what seems most unique about Toyota's approach, which they did with the Prius, is design a vehicle that give them as much patent rights/proprietary control as possible. And while all car makers do this to some extent, Toyota has a monomaniacal focus on it.
     
  15. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Wild speculation, mostly true, but definitely substantive enough for all auto manufactures to have already planned long term investments of billions...
     
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  16. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Absolutely! The EV industry will be huge in a matter of years, and everyone wants a piece of the pie!
     
  17. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Member

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    Every sensible company that has an idea will patent it ... Toyota is not unusual in that respect. I think it's fair to say that Toyota is working very hard on all of the technologies that they have mentioned, including BEV. It's true they have not released many BEV's ... but I think this is because they are working on improving the technology in terms of performance, price and safety and also because they already have high quality clean options in market, such as hybrid and PHEV.

    If you look at VW, all they have is petrol and diesel and no proper hybrid capability plus a home market that is focused on BEV. So it's understandable that they are only focusing on BEV, especially given they just paid out $50 billion in fines.
     
  18. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I noticed that back in 2011, Toyota owned significant percentages of Sanyo, Panasonic and other battery manufacturers. Automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturers in Japan: building new plants - MarkLines Automotive Industry Portal

    And, according to the Reuters article, there is the sentence: Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aimed to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.

    Don't forget, Toyota's partner Panasonic is providing a lot of batteries to Tesla as well as to Toyota.

     
  19. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Agreed... Very astute... It'd be so fun to know the back and forth of the executives most involved in the Tesla - Toyota - Panasonic triangle. No doubt there's some really good stories.
     
  20. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    The stock price decline means nothing. They have no sales thus the peak stock price was a combination of speculation and hype...and the bottom price isn't based on any actual technical merit or production.

    Mike
     
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