Toyota Motor Corp Updates
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Toyota will invest ¥1.5 trillion ($13.6 billion) in battery development and supply over the next decade as the world’s largest automaker aims to remain at the forefront of the race for cheaper and more sustainable electric and hybrid vehicles.
The Japanese group outlined its plans as it tried to quell criticism that it has been slow to switch to electric cars due to its dominance in hybrid vehicles that use both gasoline and battery power.
Executives said the company, which has a partnership with Tesla supplier Panasonic, also remains on track to develop the next generation of solid-state batteries by 2025.
Solid-state batteries offer faster charge times, longer range and are safer than current-generation batteries that use liquid solutions, although Toyota said a short life was a serious drawback.
“We cannot be optimistic yet and there are challenges,” Toyota chief technology officer Masahiko Maeda said at a briefing on Tuesday.
“We feel we have identified [the short lifetime as] an issue has brought us one step closer to commercialization,” he said, adding that the company would use solid-state batteries in hybrids to bring the technology to market faster.
Other global heavyweights, including Samsung, BMW and Honda, are all working to bring the technology to market around the same time.
To drive the shift to electric vehicles to meet its CO2 reduction targets, competitor Volkswagen has placed a $14 billion order for batteries from Northvolt over the next decade. The German automaker has also said it will build or open six battery plants across Europe by 2030.
Geely has said it will spend $5 billion building a new battery plant in Ganzhou, while Stellantis will spend more than $30 billion developing electric cars over the next four years.
Toyota did not disclose battery plant plans or the geographic breakdown of its investment plan, but Masamichi Okada, its chief product officer, said the group would spend nearly 1 trillion by 2030 to build a total of 70 electric vehicle production lines.
Leveraging its strength in developing both vehicles and batteries, the company will also aim to halve the cost of batteries by the second half of the 1920s.
The company has consistently argued that a long-term solution to global warming should be a mix of hybrids, EVs and hydrogen-powered vehicles rather than a single bet on battery-powered cars.
Over the past year, however, Toyota has shed more light on its EV plans, saying it will launch 15 by 2025. It also plans to sell 8 million electric vehicles by 2030, including 2 million battery-powered cars and fuel cell vehicles. .