Toyota’s EV strategy hinges on a partnership with a petrochemical company


Toyota’s EV strategy hinges on a partnership with a petrochemical company -Gudstory

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It’s not a secret Toyota has struggled with the transition to EVs.

The company has spent the last decade trying to throw cold water on battery-powered vehicles. It has actively lobbied against them, invested untold sums in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and pursued incremental advances in fuel economy, eventually filling its fleet with hybrids, a 30-year-old technology.

how it’s going? not great.

However, recently, Toyota has vocally acknowledged battery electric vehicles, saying it will launch 30 EVs by 2030. It is going to spend $48 million to build a battery research laboratory in the US, and it is investing about $6 billion to build a battery factory. In North Carolina. Much of the progress this year has come since longtime President Akio Toyoda handed the reins to Koji Sato, the former head of Lexus, the automaker’s luxury division.

Still, Toyota’s EV progress remains preliminary. And a recent announcement about a manufacturing partner shows the company is still on track to move forward.

Toyota’s first model, oddly named bZ4x, got off to a shaky start: Every vehicle was recalled because the wheels were at risk of falling off. That aside, the reviews for the crossover have been great. Its range is mediocre and charging speeds are OK, but reviewers say the rest of the car is pretty friendly.

More telling is the fact that Toyota is already selling its next-generation EV. Many of these are quickly assembled concepts, while others are technology demonstrations that boast extraordinary specifications, such as a 750-mile range and a charging time of only 10 minutes for the solid-state battery.

The battery type benefits from a solid electrolyte. The electrolytes in today’s lithium-ion batteries are liquids, and they are quite flammable. Furthermore, they can be easily pierced by a spiny growth at the anode (negative terminal), known as a dendrite. Repeated or excessively rapid fast-charging is more likely to cause dendrites to form, and if they bridge the gap between the anode and cathode, the cell short-circuits and can cause a fire.

Because of those concerns and others, the charging speeds of today’s lithium-ion batteries are relatively limited.


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