Toyota said on Tuesday that it expects to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop its electric battery system, in a bid to take a lead in the key automotive technology over the next decade.
The world’s largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year.
Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aimed to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.
The company is also the front runner to mass produce solid-state batteries – a potential game changer for automakers because they are more energy dense, charge faster and are less prone to catching fire. If developed successfully, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries.
While it was still struggling with the short service life of these cells, Maeda said there was no change in Toyota’s target to begin manufacturing solid-state batteries by the mid 2020s.
“We are still searching for the best materials to use,” he said.
Efforts to mass produce solid-state batteries have stumbled as they are expensive to manufacture and are prone to crack when they expand and contract during use.
Toyota also planned to use solid-state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles such as the Prius, it said.
Volkswagen, the world’s second-largest automaker, said on Tuesday it might have to spend more to deliver its planned transformation towards autonomous driving and electric vehicles.
The German firm, which plans to invest $178 billion in its business by 2025, has repeatedly said it could fund this transition based on current cash flows.