Toyota is looking to develop a more-advanced electric-car battery in the near future.
The battery, which the company hopes to have to market “in a few years,” will provide 15-percent better range and battery life than current ones, according to Toyota.
“Lithium-ion battery is a key technology for electrifying cars, and there is a clear need, going forward, for improving this technology and its performance even more,” Hisao Yamashige, a battery technology researcher at Toyota, said before assembled media in Tokyo on Thursday.
Almost all automakers from Toyota to Tesla are working to improve battery technology, as better range and longer life will help give EVs a sales boost. Toyota is also trying to develop an all-electric car – as opposed to a hybrid or plug-in hybrid – by 2020 in time for the Tokyo Olympics, and improved battery tech will help with that project.
Toyota is getting research and development help from a publically-financed Japanese laboratory and four Japanese universities – they’re studying how current lithium-ion batteries work, in order to find new designs that can prevent lithium ions from bunching up. When lithium ions bunch up inside electrodes, it leads to shorter range, shorter battery life and sometimes, overheating.