Toyota to give EVs

500 mile range

Toyota low drag design for EVs, 2023, side

A NEW type of battery which is claimed to give electric vehicles a range of almost 500 miles has been developed by Toyota and could be on the road by 2026.

The Japanese car maker has revealed it has been working on three new types of battery for its electric vehicles which will start with what it is calling a Performance lithium-ion battery with a range of 497 miles and rapid recharging times of 20 minutes or less to 80 per cent capacity.

The new battery is also 20 per cent cheaper than the system currently used by Toyota in its only battery-electric vehicle the bZ4X.

A second battery using lithium iron phosphate is scheduled for introduction by 2027 and uses the same bipolar technology Toyota pioneered for its nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, combined with inexpensive lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo) as the core material.

While not as quick to recharge - Toyota says it takes 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent - it is 40 per cent cheaper than the bZ4X battery and offers significantly more range.

A third, high performance battery is also under development which combines the bipolar structure with lithium-ion chemistry and a high nickel cathode to achieve a driving range capability of more than 620 miles. It is expected to be in production vehicles by 2028.

The company states that it has made breakthroughs in solid-state lithium-ion batteries which gives them a longer life while reducing 80 per cent charging times down to 10 minutes.

The technology was initially slated for introduction in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), but now Toyota's primary focus is on its use in next generation BEVs.

Toyota already has a higher specification li-ion solid-state battery under development, targeting a 50 per cent improvement in cruising range compared to the Performance battery of 750 miles.

With aerodynamics critical to the range of electric vehicles, Toyota says it is working on reducing the drag of its next generation of models and to that effect it intends to reduce the height of its battery packs allowing for the overall proportions of the car to be lowered.

The battery pack in today's Toyota bZ4X is around 150mm high. Toyota plans to reduce battery height to 120mm - and to 100mm in the case of high-performance sports models where a low hip-point is also desirable.

If the battery's height can be reduced, then it follows the vehicle's overall height can be lowered, CdA can be improved and overall range can be increased.

The battery pack in today's Toyota bZ4X is around 150mm high. Toyota plans to reduce battery height to 120mm - and to 100mm in the case of high-performance sports models where a low hip-point is also needed.

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