Toyota e-Palette to get solid-state batteries for 2020 Olympics

Toyota likely to fit one of its all-electric shuttle buses with a new solid-state battery pack for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games

Toyota will unveil a car powered by its next-generation solid-state battery at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, according to the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

The Japanese firm has stated that it hopes to introduce vehicles with solid-state batteries by the middle of the next decade. The technology is widely anticipated to offer packaging advantages and faster charging than current lithium-ion cells.

All the latest from the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

Speaking ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer Shigeki Terashi said that the firm would demonstrate a vehicle with a solid-state battery in the shorter term – most likely at the Tokyo Olympics. 

“At the timing of the Tokyo Olympics, we would like to produce a car with Toyota’s own solid-state battery and unveil it for you,” Terashi said. “Mass-production will be later. At the 2020 Olympics it will probably be an e-Palette with Toyota’s solid-state battery in operation. I am advoating the use of solid-state batteries in e-Palette. For mass-production model you will have to wait a little while longer.” 

The e-Palette is a mobility solution which was unveiled at last year’s CES technology show. It’s a pure-electric shuttle, designed to operate as a low-speed autonomous vehicle and is particularly well suited to wheelchair users. Toyota is introducing a new version of the vehicle for use in the Olympic village.

Terashi also discussed the challenges and benefits of solid-state battery production, stating: “Since lithium-ion is still improving in terms of performance, to catch up with that, the introduction of solid-state is getting later and later. But when further improvement of lithium-ion becomes more difficult, the advantage of solid-state is that it’s heat resistant, so it can be made compact.

“This means you can get greater capacity in the same size. And heat resistance also means that even under rapid charging, degeneration will not happen quickly. That’s why we think solid state will be introduced after lithium-ion.

• Toyota and Lexus to launch three electric cars by 2021 

“But we have to remember that the battery production process is very long. So all of a sudden, if you shift from lithium-ion to solid state then it will be very difficult to achieve that all at once. We will continue to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries – making them more affordable and higher  

“At the same time, development of solid-state batteries will continue. And when the cost reaches the same level as lithium-ion then the shift will take place. That time seems to be around 2025 or 2030.”

Auto Express undertands that the regular e-Palettes in use at the Olympics will feature lithium-ion battery packs. So Terashi's claim is likely to be related to a specific one-off creation that may be used for publicity purposes.

Toyota’s future electric vehicles 

Terashi also defended Toyota's relatively slow introduction of pure-electric vehicles. "I don't think our technology is behind others'," he said. "If you look at electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles, they use a lot of the same major components. So I don't think we are behind at all, in terms of technology."

He added, "Even if you launch lot of pure-electric vehicles, if they’re not purchased by the customer then they won’t have any effect. I believe that hybrid vehicles are more economically rational for customers. But going forward, it will not be as linear as that." 

Terashi said that Toyota was aiming for the first quarter of the next decade to introduce pure-electric vehicles in Europe. “For the time being, if you produce good hybrid vehicles then you can comply with CO2 emissions targets,” he said. “But by 2025, unless we introduce plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles, we can’t satisfy the targets.

“So I think that by 2022 or 2023 - around that time range, although it will be discussed further and finalised - we’d like to introduce these vehicles in Europe. We’ll start with smaller compact vehicles.”

What do you make of Toyota’s future plans for solid-state battery production. Let us know in the comments section below...

Recommended

Toyota launches groundbreaking 10-year warranty
Toyota service centre
Toyota

Toyota launches groundbreaking 10-year warranty

The ‘Relax’ programme covers new and used Toyota and Lexus vehicles, with the scheme applying retrospectively to second-hand models
1 Jun 2021
Toyota Corolla Cross SUV set for launch outside Asia
Toyota Corolla Cross SUV
Toyota

Toyota Corolla Cross SUV set for launch outside Asia

Toyota could soon bring its new Asia-specific C-segment SUV and more practical C-HR alternative to the USA. Could Europe follow?
19 May 2021
Subaru Solterra electric SUV to go on sale in 2022
Subaru Solterra
Subaru

Subaru Solterra electric SUV to go on sale in 2022

Subaru has announced that the Solterra, its first pure-electric model, will hit showrooms in 2022
11 May 2021
New Toyota bZ4X previews electric SUV on sale in 2022
Toyota bZ4X concept - front
Toyota

New Toyota bZ4X previews electric SUV on sale in 2022

Toyota’s first car on new e-TNGA platform is a new Volkswagen ID.4 rival
19 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form
21 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review
Volkswagen Caddy California MPV - front
Volkswagen Caddy

New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review

It’s a family hauler and weekend camper all rolled into one, but is the Volkswagen Caddy California any good?
21 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
21 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front
News

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'
Opinion - average car
Opinion

'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'

Mike Rutherford says it's increasingly easy for them, and far harder for us, to earn enough for our new cars
20 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021