Skip to main content

Toyota's New 2020 Battery Strategy Shows It Was Playing Chess with Nissan and Tesla

Toyota was apparently playing chess with Tesla and Nissan when it comes to electric car batteries, which are going to be the driving force for future EV production. If you don't have enough good batteries, you won't have enough electric cars produced, but there is a question. Now WSJ rumor says Toyota is planning long range fast charging batteries by 2020.


Wall Street Journal reports that Toyota nears technological breakthrough in electric-car batteries, working on a new type of battery that could hold a higher charge and uses a solid electrolyte instead of the commonly used semi-liquid version of today's lithium-ion batteries. Toyota hopes to put the new batteries in its electric cars as early as 2020 and nears a breakthrough.

The latest rumor is that Toyota will have long range solid state batteries by about 2020 that will completely change the market. We will have to see about that. But I think it certainly is possible.

Toyota was acting like it was staying out of battery and going all hydrogen and I remember thinking that seemed odd as you wouldn't see major electric cars coming out of Toyota or at least planned by Toyota at a level of Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S or Model 3. Toyota developers were apparently playing chess with the other automakers, most notably Nissan and Tesla.

If this all becomes reality and they use standard plug this could really be a huge breakthrough from Toyota.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this story there is an open question. If all goes well Toyota's new solid electrolyte batteries will be available in 2020, and what will all the other battery manufacturers have in 2020? The playing field doesn't stand still, and while Toyota is sitting on its tech, others have it out in the real world doing heaps of testing.

In any case, just like there are many car companies to choose from, EV will be no difference.

Also see: 2017 Toyota Mirai's Pricing Will Have Battery EV Fans Laughing Out Loud.


Adam Smith (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:16AM

Toyota may need a charging network. Where is its charging network? It should probably make a deal with Tesla.

Glen (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:18AM

In the future will each company need to have its own charging network? Currently each company doesn't need to have its own gas station right? So why in the future they need their own charging networks? I think the range and some type of auto-charging will be so advanced that charging need outside of home may be totally eliminated.

Alen (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:20AM

Tesla network could be cost neutral or even profitable when they begin to monetize the network with other carmakers.

David (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:20AM

At first I was like, OK yet another one of those articles where they talk about the breakthrough in a few years. There are tons of them. But when Toyota is the company behind it, there is certainly substance behind it. Toyota is not some startup or just an experimental lab that is looking to get attention and funding. They are big and they know the EV is the future.

Adam Smith (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:21AM

Where is Toyota's battery factory? If Toyota were going to install a new battery technology in 2020 models, it would be building the factory now. Where is that battery factory? They haven't started building it?

Bryan (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:23AM

Toyota won't have a solid state electric car till 2022. Tesla is about to move its model s cars to 4416 batteries insuring greater densities with improved chemistry. They are going to leave Toyota way behind.

Erik (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:34AM

Well GM has the world's largest automotive battery research and testing laboratory and works with multiple battery cell manufacturing companies. GM owns all of its battery chemistries and is in a position that makes it more flexible than any other automotive OEM. GM technically isn't in bed with anyone but itself.

ERIC M VEST (not verified)    July 28, 2017 - 12:11AM

In reply to by Erik (not verified)

Good points. This article mentioning Tesla and Nissan, but not GM is very cautious given GM,s Bolt and long history with electric cars. GM certainly has a better record of technical innovation than Toyota.