Toyota Says Solid-State Batteries Still More Than Decade Away

MAY 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 64

Shinzuo Abe, Toyota’s powertrain general manager, in a very interesting Wards Auto interview, outlined a future (by 2030) dominated by hybrid car sales, not plug-ins.

Toyota Prius Plug-In (Prius Prime)

The Japanese company expects that in Japan and Europe, hybrid car sales will outperform other alternatives. Also, North America is considered as a promising market for hybrids to meet 2025 CO2 regulations.

In 2017, 41% of Toyota and Lexus brand sales in Europe were hybrids.

Read Also – Toyota Sells Lots Of Hybrids In Europe, But PHEVs Are Just A Fraction

Toyota is able (if there’s a need) to use parts from hybrids in plug-in hybrid models, as well as adopt production lines, but the automaker simply isn’t convinced that’s the right path to take now.

Toyota expect that by 2030, out of 10 million sales globally:

  • 4 million to be hybrids
  • several hundred thousand to be plug-in hybrids
  • several hundred thousand to be all-electric

The all-electric part will not grow quickly – according to Toyota – as many would like, because of claimed issues like battery cost, size, weight, capacity fade and lack of charging infrastructure.

The solution, in the form of solid-state batteries, will be ready in the early 2020s, but only for pilot projects. For mass market the “more realistic timeframe is 2030,” according to Toyota, that is.

Read Also – Fisker Aims To Launch EMotion With Solid-State Battery in 2020

“Q: We were led to believe that Toyota will introduce solid-state batteries in the early 2020 period. Many observers do not believe that is possible and that a more realistic timeframe is 2030.

Abe: Yes, we did say we are starting this initiative and want to make solid-state batteries available in the early part of the 2020s decade. But in fact, that won’t be on a mass-production basis. We will begin with small-lot and trial production. We would never experiment on customers. Like you said, 2030 might be a more realistic timeframe.”

In other words, not much change in Toyota’s course for now.

Source: WardsAuto

Categories: Battery Tech, Toyota

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64 Comments on "Toyota Says Solid-State Batteries Still More Than Decade Away"

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You know I am done caring for these Dinosaurs. I would be happy if they just let Tesla do its thing and not hobble them legislatively by their lobbying.

Exactly! Toyota only did a measly 10 million units volume last year and a tiny net profit of $22Billion. What a bunch of losers even to have an opinion about the future of the car business.

And, you’re right. we should just let Tesla follow their current course.

Nokia from 2005 just called and want to hire you as their strategic adviser…

Toyota, Honda, and other Japanese, European, and Korean auto companies will soon make Tesla look like a specialty EV maker for the rich. Tesla will be lucky to survive once the competition heats up.

How did that work out for Eastman Kodak, again? Or the Stanley Motor Carriage Co., maker of the once best-selling Stanley Steamer automobile?

Disruptive tech revolutions don’t favor existing market leaders. They favor fast-growing young companies that can take advantage of new technologies.

Toyota isn’t sitting idly by letting the market pass them by and they have substantial resources and technical know how. The difference in Japanese and U.S. automotive companies ties to culture which for the Japanese involves incremental improvement and for the U.S. usually involves less frequent but more disruptive change. Tesla may have grabbed hold of the premium electric car market space but they don’t have the resources to keep it up… the 3 is not a meaningful improvement over their other vehicles so they aren’t innovating now, they are simply trying to expand their technology into the mainstream to grow market share, grow revenue, and stay alive. The automotive space is highly competitive and Tesla will be unable to overcome the resource, revenue, and debt disadvantages. They have been surviving on a favorable economy and speculative investors.

Yes, Did they even mention Fuel cells. Lolz visionaries indeed.

Fool cells are just green washing

I think you are underestimating the “S” curve.

People will buy hybrids because of their range. I don’t expect EV’s to be that big a factor until their battery packs can go over 200 miles on a 15-minute or less recharge. Their prices will have to be competitive with new and used hybrids. I hope that time comes soon.

Hey fool, those requirements are happening now next year with new models and with model 3s when Tesla upgrades superchargers

I drive a Tesla Model 3 everyday. Charging time is not an issue at all. Driving is so much fun. This is the future.

Stupid Tesla died soon……

Shinzuo Abe thoughts would of made some sense in 2010. Total gibberish now when you look at Tesla , and in a few years MB and VW once they build battery production capacity.

They did not even make sense then, you need to back up a couple of more years at least.

They are in thought world constructed by themselves that portends to equate with reality but doesn’t. The problem with most Japanese companies is that their hierarchical model does not comport well with change and innovation, especially when that coming change is monumental. It’s similar to building a nuclear plant with back-up generators below sea-level, because, what could go wrong? And none of the lower down managers have any input, since the decision comes from on high. Odd that they don’t mention the FCEV, in their prognostications on future transport, since they have poured tons of money into to that boondoggle to no avail. Here we have an example of their fine predictive abilities, concerning the power trains people will choose. It will rank high in the history of bad business decisions. Think if they had of put that money into building a ground-up ev, and battery development. I think an analogy might be when the light brigade mistakenly attacked Russian gun emplacements and a general quipped of his superior “He wasted the finest cavalry in Europe.” As far as SS batteries go, and when they drive production vehicles, is anyone’s guess, but it will happen sooner rather than later. Besides… Read more »

Toyota likes to spend a lot of time perfecting something before releasing it to the public. It has served them well in the past. Unfortunately for them for them, the plug in vehicle market is evolving too quickly. Others will garner a large percent of the market while they spend their time in the lab. Sometimes, it’s better to market something when it is 95% of the way to your goal because the last 5% take a lot of time you don’t have.

Toyota’s electrification history is filled with incremental upgrades. That has been anything but unfortunate.

Prius was rolled out in 1997, then got a major mid-cycle upgrade for the battery-pack in 2000 prior to arriving in the United States. In 2003, the gen-2 of Prius was rolled out. By 2006, the technology has been upgraded & spread for use in a sedan (Camry), an AWD minivan (Estima), and a SUV (Highlander). In 2009, we got the gen-3 Prius was rolled out. In 2012, the first-gen plug-in Prius was rolled out. In 2016, the gen-4 Prius was rolled out. In 2017, the second-gen plug-in Prius was rolled out.

What part of that doesn’t confirm the moving quickly?

You do realize how easy it would be for Toyota to rollout a mid-cycle upgrade for the plug-in Prius? An upgrade to the battery-pack for a bump in range & power is quite realistic. After all, Toyota did exactly that for the gen-1 Prius.

The part where the 2018 range is 11 miles…

Where are you getting this information? Prime is EPA rated at 25 miles. It is also one of the most affordable ways to drive on electricity and has one of the highest MPGe rating.

“What part of that doesn’t confirm the moving quickly?”

The part where Toyota’s belated first attempt at a Prius Plug-in resulted in a car that didn’t have any better all-electric range than what many do-it-yourselfers were already getting with third party modification kits for existing Prii (Priuses).

Also, the part where Toyota kept predicting that there wasn’t any market for BEVs, and that fool cell cars were the future of automobiles. 🙄

Leaving out vital detail, like time & scope, completely changes interpretation of what actually happened.

First of all, Toyota is not willing to give up on Fuecel (Fuel Cell) and is planning to increase the capacity 10 fold by 2020.
Second of all, Toyota knows very well that plugins/electrics are accelerating rapidly especially led by China which has the Worlds largest market.
Third of all, Toyota is just bluffing to fool the people.

Why the share of hybrids are struck at 1.8% in USA, the plugin/electric component is around 1.3% and is accelerating rapidly led by Tesla Model-3. Only the other hand Prius is struck in a slow lane and is going down.

If they think that hybrids are growing faster in Europe, then plugins are growing even more rapidly there. And what about China. Hybrids have near 0 presence, while electrics are accelerating rapidly. Last month 82,000 + electric vehicles were sold for nearly 3% market share.

US market is just shifting from plain hybrids to plugins, thanks to California incentive regime. Total number of enthusiasts didn’t increase much however, maybe 8-12% of California market.

Toyota already sells 40+% of their cars in Europe as hybrids. Governments may provide some incentives, but most would just run out of money if plugin incentives would stay as it is at 40% market share. Sorry to pop the dreams, but $60k-$160k cars have nothing to do with automotive mass market.

It is true that plug in vehicles are very popular in China, but in my experience drivers don’t drive as far in China as in say the USA.

With hybrids you increase the power train complexity and cost for minimal increased efficiency. This is why they have never caught on. Toyota can’t admit it because they invented the tech and have a lot invested in it.

Honda’s plan for the Fit EV seems a much more sensible approach.

Hybridization is the easiest and most cost effective way to improve fuel economy. Modern hybrids don’t command a large price premium over their gas-only counterparts and pay for themselves in fuel economy improvements alone. They also reduce engine wear and improve break pad life. I think hybridization is the lowest hanging fruit (although it’s a stop-gap) in the transition to a cleaner future.

How does this explain Honda’s upcoming eighteen thousand dollar electric Fit with 300 km range?

Chinese government needs zero emissions in cities because local emissions go out of control while number of cars increases. Reducing dependence on foreign oil is another factor, but I don’t know their exact motivation really. Communist party economy planners are notorious for grand vaporware plans that may or may not materialize or go wrong way.

Honda certainly doesn’t make BEV Fit just for California battery fans or some climate change. It isn’t the most efficient investment if you want to reduce cradle-to-grave GHG emissions. “cleaner future” may mean different things.

If it is real 300 km range in winter, I’d add myself to the waiting list. My fear is that it’s not going to be, so hybrids still have their place. But for people in warmer climates, you’re right… it’s going to devour market share.

You’re just polishing that fossil fuel terd

>> With hybrids you increase the power train complexity and cost for minimal increased efficiency. This is why they have never caught on. Toyota can’t admit it because they invented the tech and have a lot invested in it.

Real-World data proves that false. 12 million have been sold, the emission & consumption reductions dramatic, and the cost is competitive.

With my Prime, the current tank just barely reads below full, despite having driven over 700 miles already. I have been averaging over 100 MPG for lifetime efficiency. That’s an incredible result from a hybrid with a MSRP starting at $27,100.

Toyota has already delivered a full EV driving experience. Whether or not the first non-hybrid plug-in offered here uses solid-state batteries doesn’t matter. In about a year, the EV model of C-HR will makes its debut in China. So what if it uses the most advanced lithium battery with electrolyte instead?

There is nothing to admit.

I think Toyota is just mostly talking their book here. They are not in danger of being left behind the way some car companies are, because of their massive investment in hybrids, which smoothly translates into plug-in hybrid and EV technology, as seen by their success producing and selling the Prime in relatively high volume.

Tesla is growing rapidly, and some of their growth is at the expense of Toyota’s potential sales, but Toyota is also still growing, and very profitable.

Toyota is just saying that so that they will keep their ICE buying customers. If they said they were going to come out with a line of BEVs in a few years then a lot of their customers might choose to wait.

There have been short-term rises and falls, but long-term, Toyota’s global market share hasn’t changed much over the last decade or so. If Toyota sales have risen, that has more to do with global increases in population than market share.

It’s Tesla whose market share is rapidly rising, not Toyota’s.

Most likely trying to obtain battery resources themselves and are strategically downplaying the importance of EVs. They know they have a LOT of catching up to do (too bad they wasted their excellent lead on hybrids by not following up with a mass-produced EV).

What is there is catch up?

Prime already offers a full EV driving experience. Passing someone on the highway at 80 mph using only electricity with the electric-heater running has been delivered. It’s realistic. I have done it already on the drive home from work. No big deal. The next offering will improve upon that, increasing range & power.

Again, what catch up is there?

What catch up is there?

2018 Toyota Prius Prime’s EPA rated electric range: 25 miles
2018 Chevy Bolt EV’s EPA rated electric range: 238 miles
2018 Tesla (Long Range) Model 3’s EPA rated electric range: 310 miles

Any questions?

Fortunately, the rest of us look at all aspects of the technology rollout… not just size. Ugh.

Their competition is NOT TESLA! The real competition is BYD, Geely, NIO and other Chinese automakers. BYD, Geely, and SAIC are mass-producing tens of thousands of EV and PHEV cars annually for the Chinese domestic market. It’s only a matter of a couple years before they start exporting to the U.S. and considerably undercutting “domestic” producers like Ford, GM, and FCA, who will have squandered their chance.
Chinese will OWN the low-end EV market, Tesla will own the high-end and perhaps mid-range EV market in the U.S.
GM and Ford will find themselves with no place to go as ICE will disappear before 2030.

BYD might well undercut prices for BEVs sold in the U.S. market within a few years, if they continue to improve their build quality beyond the norm for Chinese automobile manufacturing; if they improve it to the point that they can actually compete in the U.S. market. BYD’s 2013-15 attempt to market the e6 in the U.S. was a dismal failure.

Geely/Volvo? That seems unlikely. At best a dark horse candidate for future EV market leader!

Really disappointed in Toyota…again. Prius prime is a great phev transition vehicle now but should have a large volume bev option for next gen Prius in 2021.
CA zev regs require more n more zev sales and no bev only phev n fool cells are not gonna be enough in a couple years.
How foolish is Toyota to relegate themselves to strictly compliance bevs for the next dozen years and not recognizing the impending demand for bevs in China, India, Europe and eventually USA.

Why are you disappointed? They just specified what they expect their sales figures to look like in 10 years, which includes double-digit compound annual growth for PHEVs and equal number of pure EVs. It might be conservative but it’s not at all outrageous.

More useless fear, uncertainty, and doubt. These delaying tactics are getting so tiresome. Foot dragging of the highest order. Just because their geniuses couldn’t get it together with the Tesla engineers… call Toyota a waambulance. Always waiting for some next development while someone else is cleaning their collective clocks.

Who is cleaning what?

We aren’t even out of the early-adopter phase… clearly marked by the presence of subsidies, in our case generous tax-credits. Whether or not any legacy automaker can achieve sustained mainstream sales volume (at least 5,000 per month) to compete with the true competition remains to be seen.

Traditional vehicles pose a monumental challenge to overcome still. Don’t be fooled into complacency by initial sales to those willing to accept new technology that isn’t able to take on the legacy offerings yet. Remember, appealing to ordinary consumers is much, much more difficult than our group here.

don’t believer TOYauto. They told me plugin hybrids were crazy. It would fill the whole car with batteries and there would be no room for a driver. I had driven my 10 kW pluginSupply equipped Prius to their meeting when they told me. It can go 50 miles at up to 54 mph with no gas.
Toyauto was stuck on NiMH batteries. They can’t see the future. They has Tesla make their RAV4 into 100% Electric since they couldn’t.

I seriously don’t believe the claim of 50 miles on one of those PluginSupply kits. Assuming 9KW was actually available for use, you’d need to achieve 6 miles per Kwh, which is essentially hyper-miling territory. Nobody drives like that. I mean, if I could get that sort of efficiency, my Chevy Volt would do over 90 miles on a charge.

That was most definitely an extreme hypermiling claim, not anything remotely approaching what the average driver could expect in real-world driving.

As much I was enthusiast about the first and to a less extend the second generation Prius, the third was a sad revelation Toyota was not really interested in car electrification because they didn’t give the expected evolution to a plug-in hybrid with decent ev range at least comparable to the Volt. Now a decade later they are still at super low ev range even with their brand new Prime. Toyota disappointed me by not going further in the ev transition. By now we should have had a fourth generation Prius that was essentially an ev with just a backup APU like in the BMW i3 but in the form of their direct free piston generator instead of an old crank and shaft system. Toyota didn’t believe in ev cars and still don’t believe in it, that’s a problem.

The cold, hard reality is you don’t want to acknowledge the problem of cost. Saying Toyota should at least have as much range as Volt overwhelmingly confirms that fact. It’s simply too expensive still. You would be just as disappointed if price has been raised to compensate for that increase. Keep in mind how high of a priority sticker-price has been for Prius. Toyota has stayed true to that, not giving into tax-credit dependency like GM. Looking at Volt sales, it’s quite clear that the loss of the $7,500 subsidy is going to make that bad situation even worse. Another thing to keep in mind about Toyota is the spin coming from antagonists. Remember how much rhetoric we had to deal with when gen-1 Prius PHV production ended. There were countless posts for months about how Toyota didn’t believe in plug-in cars. The internet is filled with those who are short-sighted and those hoping to disenfranchise. Don’t listen to their claims. We’ll get an increase of range & power as costs justifies. Toyota is not going to compromise affordability just for the sake of pleasing enthusiasts. Their focus is sustainable high-volume profitable sales to mainstream consumers.
Of course the cost is important and that is why I am not a fan of all the self driving stuff because it further increase already more expensive ev cars, but on the other end cost is exactly what should be driving the evolution to more ev range capability because if you consider the present price of gasoline at 1,5 €/l (in Europe that is), it actually increase the TCO to have less ev range. The optimum range for a plug-in hybrid is at least above 100 miles with present battery prices in the <150 €/KWh as indicated by GM and others. It also start to cost a lot to keep the dual mechanical transmission to the wheels because the BMW i3 pure series configuration is much simpler and has even a better yield if a direct piston generator would be used. In Europe even a Tesla Model 3 which saves 20000 € of equivalent gasoline on the life of a car is not really that much more expensive than a 34000€ Prius Prime. Of course driving habits will influence the outcome especially if someone happens to drive less than 10 miles a day but that is not really the… Read more »

The cost of operating the Prime is not significantly higher than the Model 3. Any way you slice it, the Model 3 is a much more expensive vehicle.

Only because the significantly higher cost of damage to the environment and to public health from drilling, refining and burning gasoline are borne by Earth’s population as a whole, and mostly not by those who drive gasmobiles, which includes all the miles driven in gasmobile mode by short-ranged PHEVs like the Prius Prime.

The Prime is rated at 170 g/mile for tailpipe+upstream CO2 emissions. This compares with 150 for the Tesla Model 3 (US average) and 410 for the average new vehicle. (EPA – Compared to the average car, Prime reduces total emissions by 59% and Model 3 by 63%. If environmental safeguard was your main focus, you could use the money you save to much more that that 4% impact in other ways.

The Prime will actually release FEWER total emissions compared to Model S or Model X. Keep that in mind next time someone complains that the Prime’s electric range is too low. It’s not. It’s actually a pretty darn good compromise between electric range and cost.

“Toyota is not going to compromise affordability just for the sake of pleasing enthusiasts.”

Clearly Toyota does not agree, since it created the Lexus badge.

There are two distinct brands. Mainstream consumers are not luxury buyers.

I would treat such declarations with caution. Incumbents have to promote their existing products to protect the revenue that is paying for the trandition. It is a different business model from Tesla’s but the goal is the same.

As for SS batteries, it’s a good idea, of course. But the main issue with current batteries is their price, once a 60kWh battery costs less than $5000 there’s no reason to fool around with petrol engines, at least not for people who can charge at home. SS batteries won’t help us with that.

Joe Average isn’t going to buy a BEV that takes 20 minutes or more to charge from 10-20% to 80% or more, even if it costs no more than a gasmobile, or even if it’s slightly cheaper.

What the EV revolution needs is a truly advanced battery which can be ultra-fast-charged (let’s say, 300 miles of range in <= 10 minutes) without overheating. If solid state batteries will be capable of that, then they are going to have a huge impact on the future of automobiles.

This is indeed the reason why Toyota is/was pushing for FCEVs – charging is problematic if one doesn’t own a garage, which is almost a rule in large Asian cities. Again, SS batteries are not a solution (our infrastructure currently relies on people charging slowly), better infrastructure and new business models, such as overnight parking with chargers provided, are.

SS batteries will no doubt arrive. But first they will be deployed in mobile devices and only when the price drops – in BEVs. That will happen after, not before, the mass market adoption of BEVs.

Having said that, who knows what will the future bring – BEVs, unlike cellphones, can afford a pump or two so the solution space is significantly larger.

Toyota’s self-serving prediction that what it has chosen to focus on for the future of automobiles is what will the market is going to prefer, is about as convincing as BlackBerry doing the same for the cell phone market in 2008, the year after the first iPhone went on sale. Well, Blackberry’s subscriptions did continue to grow for a few years; they did not peak until 2013, according to Wikipedia.

Tesla introduced the Model 3 in 2017. Will Toyota’s sales tank as quickly after 2022 as BlackBerry’s did after 2013? Only time will tell, and changes in the field of automobiles don’t happen as quickly as they do in consumer electronics. But I won’t be at all surprised if Toyota finds its sales dropping at an exponential rate after 2027, because other auto makers are going to aggressively pursue making BEVs powered by advanced batteries (solid-state or some other breakthrough), even if Toyota doesn’t!

What automaker are you referring to?

Looking at GM, we see no path to the future. It offers 2 low-volume, unprofitable plug-in vehicles that don’t appeal to their own loyal customers. GM shoppers want nothing to do with a compact hatchback or wagon. They want SUV choices… of which, GM offers none with a battery-pack.

Toyota, on the other hand, has a clear path laid out for electrification. There’s a wide selection of hybrids now that will lead to plug-in hybrid and EV models. It’s an obvious stage being set for their entire consumer market, a diverse offering from a wide variety of shoppers.

Toyota (waving it’s jedi hand): “those are not the solid state batteries you are looking for.”
Meanwhile saying “hey have you looked at our FCEV vehicles?”
Not that they have an ulterior motive or anything.

Fisker will bring solid state batteries by 2020. 😛

Let’s see if this gets posted: Solid State Batteries are a hoax. All hype by the EV diehard fanboys. Just not going to happen. How many of these HYPE stories can be published before the Big Bad Wolfe runs out of air?