Toyota plans to launch a solid-state battery in a hybrid by 2025 – the future Prius?
Solid-state batteries planned by Toyota will not debut in an electric vehicle, but in a future hybrid, an executive said in a recent interview with Automatic line.
The batteries, which are on track to commercialize by 2025, will appear in hybrids first, as this allows for a smaller, less cost-sensitive battery pack, Toyota Chief Scientist Gill Pratt said. .
Hybrids also represent a “harder test” for semiconductor technology because of the greater amount of battery cycling inherent in this use case, Pratt said. As Toyota gains experience with solid-state battery cells and costs decline, the automaker will expand the use to all-electric vehicles, he said.
Toyota Prius 2020
One of the claimed benefits of solid-state batteries is greater energy density, but Pratt said Toyota also hopes they will reduce charge times. This has not been confirmed, as development work is currently focused on the hybrid deployment of solid-state batteries, he noted. Faster charging will also require network and charging network upgrades, he said.
Pratt hasn’t confirmed which model will get solid-state batteries, but the technology could help reinvigorate the hybrid that started it all.
The Toyota Prius was once a hybrid pioneer, so solid-state cells, some plug-in capability, and a new shape might be what it needs to be relevant again.
2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade
Last month, Toyota announced plans for 30 electric vehicles around the world by 2030, unveiling a dozen concepts previewing some of these models. The automaker said affordability, not range, would be the focus for its future electric vehicles. Toyota’s first mass electric vehicle is the BZ4X crossover, which is also expected to serve as the basis for the Lexus RZ, for the luxury brand of Toyota.
Toyota plans to manufacture batteries in the United States, but these will initially be intended for hybrids. Will solid-state cells be one of those plans, perhaps as part of Prime plug-in hybrids with even better mpg?