Toyota Forges Ahead To Build A Better Prius With Solid State Battery Technology
Toyota vehicles have changed my life forever. After driving American cars for years, then switching over to a Tacoma, there was no comparison to what was better.
I attribute the success of Toyota to their ability to build a better vehicle, and look into the future and see what transportation will be. Toyota developed the Prius to meet the demands of a growing need to consume energy in our modern world.
I have almost always been impressed with Toyota vehicles, though some are not my cup of tea. I do give them credit for making the best hybrid car on the planet and making the technology sustainable. Toyota is a great company.
In its efforts to meet the needs of a demanding and energy-hungry world, Toyota is investing heavily in newer battery technology. They are doing this to improve all their hybrid models, including Prius. Here is what I can tell you about the investment Toyota is making in Solid-state battery technology and how it can affect the future of the Prius.
What Is Solid-State Battery Technology?
Solid-state battery technology is different from standard Li-ion batteries. The liquid or polymer electrolyte is replaced with a solid electrolyte. The use of a solid does a couple of different things. First, it allows the batteries to be more energy-dense and durable. Second, they can be made smaller and cheaper than conventional Li-ion batteries.
A smaller, lighter, and cheaper battery is what we need to make hybrids go further and to make EV's drive longer. Those two reasons alone have sold me on the technology, and it seems to have done the same for Toyota.
Toyota Is Investing Heavily In Solid-State Technology
Hybrid batteries have loads of issues. I hear every day of a new problem arising with aging Ni-MH battery modules that are failing or have failed with many of our Prius and other hybrid vehicles. Prius owners are not taught to maintain our hybrid batteries, and now we are paying the price.
Regardless, if Prius owners did or did not maintain the batteries, it would be a matter of time before new technology emerged and replaced the old. Toyota is a bit slower to embrace battery technology, primarily since they have championed hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Now Toyota plans to roll out a comprehensive line of electric vehicles by 2025, and they are doing it with solid-state batteries. They have invested millions into research and development to make this possible.
What This Means For Future Prius Owners
Some people, including me, have called Prius a bridge technology. Meaning that Prius was developed to get us, humans, to the next big thing. Do not get me wrong; I love my Prius and think the world of the car. Afterall it has shaped where we are going with transportation.
I think that Prius will be around for quite some time because Toyota still gets the credits they need to stay compliant with government mandates. I think the brand of Prius is well established, so if Toyota were to kill it off, that could prove disastrous.
I also think that with solid-state batteries in the mix, Prius will see even higher fuel economy numbers and longer EV range times.
Toyota is a smart, forward-thinking company. They make bold moves, and they do it when they can prove what they are doing will benefit the world around them. This is one reason why Prius is such a great brand; Toyota made the car to change the world.
I think Toyota sees solid-state technology as a sound investment for future transportation. Next-generation Prius will also house these batteries and give us an even better version of what we have today. I know that is why Toyota is investing so much money into developing this alongside other major car companies.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you in the next story, $2,000 Toyota Prius Vs $15,000 Prius Which One Ends Up Being The Better Value.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting