Toyota partners with Idemitsu to bring solid-state batteries to mass production

Toyota and Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan have joined forces to develop mass production technology for solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), with the intention to market solid-state batteries as early as 2027.

Solid-state batteries have garnered considerable attention within the automotive industry due to their potential to increase the range compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. However, the commercial-scale production of these batteries has posed significant technological challenges, meaning they have yet to become reality. Toyota hopes to change that by delivering the first EV with a solid-state battery in 2027, and then mass producing them after that.

“Durability remains one of the biggest challenges in developing solid state batteries. We can now see the beginnings of a battery with both high function and lasting durability. First, between 2027 and 2028, we will start to produce solid-state batteries for use in battery electric vehicles. We will then lay the foundation for mass production,” said Toyota Chief Executive Officer Koji Sato.

The solid electrolyte developed by Idemitsu relies on lithium sulfide, a material derived from sulfur produced during the oil refining process. This approach has been under development since the 1990s, positioning it as a prime candidate for solid-state batteries, as explained by Idemitsu’s CEO, Shunichi Kito at a press conference on Thursday.

To bring this technology to a large-scale production stage, Idemitsu plans to operate a pilot plant from 2027. This facility will test mass production methods, with the hope to begin full-scale mass production after 2028.

In June Toyota unveiled plans to enhance the range, performance, and affordability of its future EVs through the introduction of high-performance, solid-state batteries, saying that the research and development phase of solid-state battery technology had reached a pivotal stage.

Toyota has an ambitious goal to sell 1.5 million electric cars in 2026 and 3.5 million by 2030, a target which is largely driven by commercializing solid-state batteries.

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