One of the biggest reasons for range anxiety is the battery in electric vehicles, but new technology from Toyota could change that by providing three, four, or even five times more power than current lithium ion batteries.
Toyota plans a launch in 2020 for solid state batteries in cars. Solid state batteries allow a higher voltage to be packed into a smaller package thanks to the use of a solid electrolyte instead of the liquid one used in current lithium ion batteries which makes them more compact and efficient. These batteries can deliver three to four times more power compared to current lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to the use of a solid-state battery, Toyota plans to release a lithium air battery, which will prove to be even more powerful than solid-state batteries. Due to the replacement of current lithium cathodes, with ones that interact with oxygen, lithium air batteries are lighter and more energy dense. Compared to the current lithium-ion units, these batteries are expected to offer a five-fold improvement in power.
Thanks to the weight savings, and lower internal resistance making for quicker charges, both kinds of batteries are seen as the future of EVs. Current lithium ion powered EVs, with a power density that is just 1/50th of gasoline, are having a hard time in the market and are a niche product. The power density will be much closer to what is offered by gasoline with these new solid state batteries and lithium air batteries.