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Toyota Unveils Battery Manufacturing Plans

By Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 09/09/2021 - 20:06

During its quarterly meeting with shareholders, Toyota Motor Corporation introduced its global strategy for manufacturing battery for its electrified vehicles. The effort will represent a JPY$1.5 trillion (US$14 billion) investment by 2030. "We want to provide sustainable and practical products that reduce CO2 emissions while considering the convenience of our customers in each region," said Toyota CTO, Masahiko Maeda.

Toyota, forecasts to sell 8 million electrified vehicles by 2030, of which 2 million will be battery electric vehicles (BEV) and Fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV). From 1997, when the first Prius model was launched, the company had sold 18 million EVs by July 2021. In Mexico, Toyota is a leader in the HEV segment with the different versions of the Prius and has set itself the goal that 20 percent of its sales in Mexico will be electrified vehicles.

Different kinds of electrified vehicles requires different powertrains and different kinds of batteries. Core electrification technologies include electric motors, batteries and power control units. "While promoting a full lineup of electrified vehicles, we have also been developing and manufacturing a full lineup of batteries. For (hybrid electric vehicles) HEVs, our focus is on power output, or in other words, instantaneous power, while, when it comes to (plug in hybrids) PHEVs and BEVs, our focus is on capacity or what can be called 'endurance,'" explained Maeda.

Toyota has been experimenting with different battery compositions that include bipolar nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium-ion batteries and solid-state batteries, among other low-cost and high-performance combinations. The company's priorities for battery development are to balance safety, long service life and quality.

Maeda also addressed "the batteries of the future," which will necessarily be more cost-efficient with at least 30 percent reduction in costs from the current prices. By the second half of the 2020s the company expects to reduce the battery cost per vehicle by 50 percent compared to the Toyota most recent bZ4X model. The advancement of liquid batteries and all-solid-state batteries will also be a priority.

As for the implications new powertrains will have on the supply chain, the company stated that "they will respond flexibly to the changing needs of our customers. By establishing a system for both development and supply, we will promote the dissemination of electrified vehicles, including BEVs. On the way to our goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, the energy situation and infrastructure of each region, as well as the sensibilities and convenience requirements of customers, will continue to change," said Maeda.

Toyota's full presentation is available here

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst