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What better way to introduce a new model than in front of millions of people across the globe.

This is exactly what Toyota is planning as its home country gears up for the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo next summer.

Over the past years, the Japanese automaker channeled its efforts into developing and expanding its hybrid Prius lineup and hydrogen fuel cell technology. Come 2020, though, the company is looking to kick off huge changes on its electric car production.

Shigeki Terashi, Chief Technology Officer at Toyota, recently divulged that the company is working on debuting a vehicle equipped with solid-state battery at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

, Toyota to Debut Battery Electric Vehicle at Tokyo Olympics
Toyota acknowledged in a statement that while it will officially debut a vehicle equipped with solid-state battery next year, a production version won’t be available until around 2025.

While Toyota has largely remained mum about the concept of the said vehicle being staged for release next year, it comes as no surprise as the brand is known to use the international spotlight to market its self-driving car technology and zero-emissions powertrains.

See also  Toyota Boosts EV Plans in U.S.

But what are solid-state batteries and why are they a big deal?

For one, this type of battery does not use a liquid electrolyte, contrary to the popular and widely used lithium-ion batteries. The lack of a liquid property enhances the battery’s fast-charging capability and makes it more energy-dense, meaning they are better choices for long-driving ranges. Additionally, the technology eliminates the risks of overheating.

The challenge for most automakers, however, is the absence of a proper mass production process for solid-state batteries.

Terashi acknowledged this in a statement, saying that while Toyota will officially debut the model next year, a production version of the vehicle won’t be available until around 2025. But he assured that when the model is ready, it will find a place in Toyota’s portfolio of future EVs.

In the United States, General Motors is also researching on the process of developing the technology after receiving a grant from the US government. Likewise, Volkswagen is hard at work on its own research, which the company has invested millions of dollars on.

See also  Toyota Commits $398M for Truck Upgrades

Toyota, meanwhile, is working with Nissan and Honda on a combined research on the potentially holy grail batteries. The three Japanese brands are hoping to produce a battery pack capable of providing at least 340 miles of range by 2030.

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