Toyota Makes Grand Promises On Battery Tech

Toyota is going through a bit of a Kodak moment right now, being that like the film giant they absolutely blundered the adoption of a revolutionary technology. In Kodak’s case it was the adoption of the digital camera which they nearly completely ignored; Toyota is now becoming similarly infamous for refusing to take part in the electric car boom, instead placing all of their faith in hybrid drivetrains and hydrogen fuel cell technologies. Whether or not Toyota can wake up in time to avoid a complete Kodak-style collapse remains to be seen, but they have been making some amazing claims about battery technology that is at least raising some eyebrows.

What Toyota are claiming is that they have a new solid-state battery, one that has a much higher energy density than current mass-produced batteries, and perhaps one that will go into their fleet of electric vehicles (whenever they start making them). Of course they haven’t released any information about these batteries which might verify these claims, and even if they do have a revolutionary technology there’s no guarantee that they will be able to scale it up, or that other EV manufacturers don’t make similar gains in between the present and the murky and uncertain future where Toyota is actually selling electric vehicles.

There are also claims that Toyota hasn’t completely dropped its interest in hydrogen, a technology which not only relies on a hydrogen-powered drivetrain to be adoped in the vehicles themselves but is also completely dependent on a currently non-existent hydrogen infrastructure. The electric grid already exists for moving energy around, and banking on hydrogen to do that instead seems a little bit like Toyota is falling for the sunk cost fallacy. But hopefully the interest in solid-state batteries is a sign that Toyota is finally starting to get with the EV times.

125 thoughts on “Toyota Makes Grand Promises On Battery Tech

      1. Toyota also had a pretty in-demand, and very low-production, EV relatively early, the RAV4 EV. I had some family friends that had one, they had some real headaches buying out the lease. They loved it, I forget whether they got to keep it or not.

        I also saw a second gen one in a parking lot just last week, which was a trip.

        1. That is correct, Toyota made a RAV4 EV in the early 2000s but at the time NiMH was the battery technology to use only GM sold the patent rights to Texaco who forced Toyota and Panasonic from making the EV95 battery used in the RAV4 EV which killed the vehicle. They attempted to kill the Toyota hybrids too since they also used NiMH technology but Toyota was able to prove their hybrid was 49% EV and 51% gasoline so not “predominantly electric” as the patent limited use clause stated. Some say it was the reason which kept Toyota away from BEVs for so long.

          1. Is it me or are we forgetting that Tesla made the drive tech for the EV RAV. This is why Toyota needed the car back than being able to easily sell it off after the lease.
            So in part Toyota partnerships are very powerful and effective .

      2. Kodak was not the only photography/film company to die due to digital cameras. The bottom line is that digital photography killed the photo business – Kodak just delayed the inevitable. And nobody is making any real money in the digital imaging business. Phone cameras have replaced all but the higher end professional/pro-sumer cameras. Film production worldwide is a tiny fraction of what it was before digital photography. Same for photo paper.

    1. Kodak created the first professional digital cameras in the world. I worked in the digital imaging space (Australia) at the time and the DCS range were the only professional cameras available for years.

      They were really heavy, REALLY EXPENSIVE, had terrible battery life and were so slow recording images (PCMCIA HD as storage) but you could get a Nikon F-90x body so they were great for professionals. Proprietary SCSI interface, no screen to view your images (you could tether to a computer) and a proprietary PhotoShop plugin.

      They were fantastic for studio work but a bit hopeless for anything else. Still, they paved the way and were bloody fantastic.

    1. Yep. I believe there were a few electric cars back in the early 1900s even. So revolution? Doubt it. Around here it is still a ‘novelty’ to see someone to be driving an electric vehicle… But hey, come to think of it we need more electric vehicles to keep the rare earth mining industry going with there mammoth diesel equipment running to turn over a lot more dirt ;) . Ha!

        1. Which is fair, current car batteries being derived from technology developed mostly for the laptop market, later phones.

          Yeah capitalism! It never stops spinning off benefits.

          Hopefully late stage socialism will go onto it’s imminent death. Humanities departments at universities and zoos in Poland having apparently been too much wiggle room for them.

      1. You’re right, electric cars aren’t a revolution, but a battery that actually makes them competitive with ICE cars will be a revolution, but that has yet to come.

        1. Norway?
          a COUNTRY….
          with only slightly greater landmass than our STATE, ofMontana

          a COUNTRY that has a population that ONLY represents .07% of the worlds population,
          JUST BELOW the STATE of Minnesota, and SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER People than New York CITY

          A COUNTRY sooo socialized their poverty rate sits between 0-0.5%.
          But they still have fewer registered passenger vehicles than our POOREST and LESS POPULATED STATE of Mississippi.

          A grape and a watermelon are both green fruit with similar shapes, but thats where the similarity end.

          NORWAY and everything about it IS A NOVELTY

          1. ERROR in previous post
            sorry about this, no edit feature on HAD. I shifted a row on my dataset
            Mississippi actually has fewer cars than Norway, but MICHIGAN has more.

      2. Caterpillar has been running early learner programs with mining partners for several years now where they have battery powered heavy equipment being used in real world. They demoed a range of battery powered equipment for industry at Bauma 2022. Mining, especially underground, benefits greatly from battery powered zero emissions vehicles. They’re ideal for equipment that sits idle for long periods of time (loading and unloading) but needs to be immediately ready.

        As an added bonus, mines usually have 3 phase power already available on site which can be used to provide the highest DCFC speeds.

        BEV popularity has lowered the prices and advanced the technology to where it’s feasible to develop heavy machinery that’s entirely battery powered.

        1. I get that its a common thing to say EVs are battery powered, Ive never heard someone call a ICV tank powered though. Batteries dont generate power, they just store it. I know its pedantic, but Battery OPERATED EVs are generally coal or natural gas powered given our energy grid.

          Heavy EVquipment though,
          That can get rather interesting

          Mines often collect ore at one location and process it at another location. This results in loaded dump trucks headed one direction and empty ones headed in the other.

          Some mines with significant altitude difference between have needed upgraded battery capacity and a power dump at the processing plant because they collect more energy from regenerative breaking coming down the mountain loaded with ore than is needed to return to the mine empty.

          So while it may be isolated to specific use cases,
          at least some of these operations may be battery operated,
          but they are in fact GRAVITY POWERED!

          and thats pretty damn cool to me

    2. Why? They seem like a similar thing to me. Early versions had poor specs and high prices, but with much lower operating cost and steady improvements on their weaknesses they eventually became much more competitive for anyone who wasn’t buying the experience rather than the product.

    3. “It seems a bit premature to claim that electric cars are some kind of “revolution” like digital cameras.”

      OK, then evolution, like digital cameras? I was shooting for my college newspaper in the mid 90s, during probably some of the last years of the film darkroom. But digital cameras wouldn’t completely take over the consumer snapshot market for another five or ten years. (And then came smartphones.)

      Most auto makers are looking at their last round of combustion engines.

      VW, for instance, is planning one more combustion motor revision in 2026, but they say that will be their last. That motor series will be prime-time for 5 years, and then fade out into the downmarket vehicles. They’ll probably continue making that motor for maybe 10-20 years to sell in regions with poor infrastructure, so it won’t be overnight. The auto industry moves very slowly, with long lead times.

      Smaller companies are more agile. Jaguar announced that it’s all electric after 2025. GM is out in 2035.

    4. That’s ok because humans think linear so exponential is sometimes hard to grasp. If you took a single penny and doubled it everyday, by day 30, you would have $5,368,709.12.

      EV demand is insane and any half decent EV will sell. It’s no longer a question of demand, it’s about production. Over a multi-year timeline Tesla’s production capacity is increasing 50% year over year.
      The adoption of washers & dryers, cell phones, even the gas car all happened in a very short time frame. EVs like other disruptive technologies is following the classic S-curve adoption.

      How long ago were cell phone rare? Then seemingly overnight everyone had one.

      FYI Henry Ford’s wife drove a Baker Electric her hole life. 😁

      1. Fuel cell vehicles have an electric drivetrain; instead of the energy being stored in lithium-based batteries and charged by an external source, it is generated by a reaction between the hydrogen, oxygen and a catalyst to produce energy. Water is made as a byproduct and is vented from the cell.

      2. Go check out how a Mirai works. The hydrogen cell powers a battery that drives electric motors. I think its using the one out of the Camry. The hydrogen in that car cell cant supply enough peak voltage to run a car in its current state, so its a bit of a hybrid of sorts.

        1. You should go check out how the mirai works, you are incorrect in your understanding. The fuel cell stack CAN feed the battery if its drained low enough, but unless youre a throttle hog it usually leaves recharging to braking mode. Generally though, the FCS dumps through the VBooster/Inverter which runs the traction motor.

          The mirai fuel cell has no issue producing large amounts of power. The first gen mirai can dump 112kw for a short time, and 75kw continuously. Its issue is quite the opposite, it is inefficient at lower current draw production.

          Beyond the obvious advantages of regenerative braking there are two closely related reasons that necessitate the battery.

          First, The incoming airflow must be compressed to ~200psi so there has to be electricity before the fuel cell can operate,
          and Secondly, because of the compressors electric draw, it is inefficient to run the fuel cell under stop and go conditions. As a result, The mirai’s fuel cell, while capable of producing lower current at significantly lower efficiency, is software throttled to not engage/produce at less than 5kw.

          At 1.6kwh with a max output of 25.5kw the battery only gives the 112kw fuel cell a few minutes of boost under WOT. MOST of the battery output under this condition is absorbed by the compressor which pulls around 17kw with the FCS maxxing.

          Personally, I think the real tipping point for FCVs will be the advancement and commercialization of direct ethanol/methanol/petro fuel cells. Liquid fuels are just easier to handle given our existing infrastructure.

          If youd like to dig into the technical details of the mirai’s performance Id recommend this PDF
          (please note this test vehicle was modified to allow their stack to be run below toyotas programmed 5kw threshold for some of their tests)

    1. that’s sort of like saying modern diesel locomotives are electric. It’s technically true, but it’s worthwhile to distinguish plug-in electric vehicles (or otherwise grid-connected, like an electric train with third-rail or catenary power) because grid power is generated more efficiently than vehicle-local power ever will be AND it has the potential to be generated cleanly.

        1. Reading fail dude?

          When you take electricity to make hydrogen to turn back into electricity you tend to think “green hydrogen seems rather inefficient and dumb”, like running diesel electric trains on an electrified line is rather dumb.

          You can skip the fuel cell and burn hydrogen in your ye olde ICE engine, but that produces nitrogen oxides which upsets some people (that idea dates back to the 70’s.)

      1. I disagree. NiMH batteries also run on hydrogen, reacting it with nickel to form nickel hydroxide and energy. It’s not fundamentally different from a hydrogen fuel cell, except that the hydrogen is stored efficiently in a hydrogen-absorbing metal alloy rather than as a compressed gas in a tank. The similarities between a NiMH BEV and a hydrogen fuel cell EV are quite noticeable.

        1. I get what you mean at the chemical level, but at the systems level you’re confusing hydrogen as a _store_ of energy vs as a _source_ of energy.

          Fuel cells consume hydrogen: you have to pour the hydrogen into the car to make it go.

          Batteries are made up of hydrogen, like they’re made of lithium or cobalt, or whatever. But you don’t add more hydrogen — you have to tank up on electric charge that makes chemical change inside the battery. This matters for environmental concerns b/c hydrogen is currently a fossil-fuel byproduct.

          When it’s apples-to-apples, hydrogen solar production and use in a fuel cell is something like 30% full cycle efficiency. Solar to battery to the wheel is something like 80%. Electrolysis eats ~50% of the energy budget. Hydrogen / fuel cell will be a niche technology.

      2. Most people can now realize that even in an ICE (interenal combustion engine) car the piston is driven down by electric and magnetic forces and not because molecuels actually touch each other. And what we call explosion is actually an oxidation reaction with electron exchange. So even an ICE car is actually an electric car. The difference between the ICE car and the so called BEV is that in the ICE car the Battery (Diesel) is thrown away (released into the atmosphere) every time it is driven.

        1. WHAT?
          ICE engines are not driven in ANY direction by Molecules touching each other??, ELECTRIC, or MAGNETIC forces….well except by electric power, and I guess the resulting magnetic forces, in the brief moments you turn their key and the starter motor rotates the engine, but that hardly counts.

          ICE engines pistons are driven down by the detonation of fuel/air in their combustion chamber. They are driven back up by the detonation fuel/air in adjacent cylinders combustion chambers, as the crankshaft links ALL of the cylinders together.

          Please watch this link and forward it to these MOST PEOPLE you know who are similarly confused about IC engine operation

      1. toyota does…sort of.
        In japan they offer smaller (1-2kw) fuel cell stacks that use a reformer to produce hot water and electricity from city gas. You could plug in your EV/hybrid to charge, I guess.

        A single mirai fuel cell, with unlimited piped hydrogen, can provide enough electricity for 100 japanese or 20 american homes. The installation of village power stations was proposed and planned but seems to have fallen out of mention postcovid. Toyota has begun installing dual mirai fuel cell stacks as on site power stations for their japanese factories, so it could just be a covid delayed timeline for the villagers.

        Toyota wont be abandoning fuel cells in vehicle though. The only real question is will they stick to hydrogen as the production and efficiency of other fuel cell types improve.

        I expect direct ethanol/methanol fuel cells to be the norm in most large scale transport, if not all motor vehicles, within the next 20-50 years. Advancing work in supercritical water hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass waste matter to simple sugars appear to be leading us to virtually unlimited source of renewable fuel compatible with our existing distribution infrastructure.

    1. Did you know that in the US only 5% of trips are longer than 30 miles? Thus it’s not necessary for the majority of trips, and the majority of the population, to be concerned about it.
      However, next year the typical range will increase, so your argument will be moot.
      I am sure that advertising copy in the future will read “Your electric vehicle can only circumnavigate the globe twice on a full charge? Check out our new model! You can drive to Mars and back on a single charge*”.

      * Your mileage may vary

      1. Edge cases _always_ define requirements.

        Also your source is ‘lying with statistics’. A single ‘trip’ doesn’t mean ‘time for a recharge’.

        One trip to work, one back, one to the store, one for food, one to get your dog out of jail, a long one in pursuit of pussy etc etc etc.

        1. As I said, next year the typical range will increase, so the argument is moot.
          Personally I’d like to see better public transport. I could drive my short-range EV around town, then relax on a train for my 260 mile trip to the magical far-away place.

          1. No.
            A 5% range increase doesn’t ‘moot’ anything.
            Failing to work for 1 trip in 20 ‘moots’ the option, not in the favor of electric vehicles.

            If you want better public transport, move someplace with high population density. It’s very simple. Vote with feet.

            Want a half acre lot? Continue driving thumping V8.
            Willing to live in neighbors lap? Take bus.


          2. There are no trains to the “magic far away place” (i.e. camping or burning man). it’s also not magic, and not economical to have an electric car. 1-day trips for 300 miles become 3-day trips with the required charging. electric cars are an environmental disaster cloaked in greenwashing.

      2. Right now EVs are a bit of a joke. Heavy huge batteries made out of materials that are probably just as unsustainable as fossil fuel. Recharged on a grid that is still mainly powered by fossil fuels. Good for the early adopters that the companies that may actually produce something more elegant in the future, a future when more of our grid is powered with renewable energy.

      3. There’s a difference in the majority of trips and the majority of the population. A better expression of the root question might be “Would owning one of these vehicles cause the owner to be inadequately able to access transportation?”.

        Overall, we can’t expect everyone to have two easy ways to get to work – if they have affordable public transport available or they have multiple cars, that’s great. If not then they can only be expected to be able to get a ride from someone else if it’s for necessities and in exceptional circumstances, and probably not for the kind of long trip that their car is least likely to be able to complete. “I live near the great lakes but I intentionally bought a car that can’t handle snow or ice” is pretty similar to “I knew I need to be able to go check on my parents 200 miles away every now and then, but I bought a car without enough range to actually do that”.

        1. I agree, most everyone wants the ability to go outside their normal commute range and probably does on Fri-Sun at least once per week. Thinking everyone is going to have 2 vehicles is disregarding reality and looking only to push a narrative. I’m and EV fan but skewing things to make them look better is NOT the way to do it.

        2. Ive got a buddy in portland that drives a first gen Bolt. He says he gets 200-250 miles per charge still. Thats plenty for his commute, and all the round town driving he does.

          He used to have a prius that sat in his garage eating up insurance money that he would only use when he drives down to San francisco to visit his family, or up to Seattle to visit his wifes family.

          During covid they sold the prius and solved their extra range extra car problem. Now when he takes long trips he attaches a small trailer thats got two extra bolt batteries mounted inside. He can do a 600 mile trip without worry. They keep the trailer hooked up to their solar and their house when its not on the go. So most of the time its sort of a powerwall on wheels.

          He is not the only person Ive known to do a similar hack. Im pretty cofident when EVs reach a tipping point in market penetration, Youre going to see moving truck companies, and car rental companies offering range extending trailers, maybe even with precharged swapouts at affiliate locations along your planned route.

          Every problem has a solution given enough demand.

          1. It sounds like he’s got a bit more budget than the minimum viable, but I would feel better if you could acquire more range by bringing something extra with you on the longer trips – though I’d probably picture something like an overbuilt bike rack with a generator instead of the trailer, if possible. Which is in other words a crude plug in hybrid.
            On the other hand, while I would not swap my main vehicle battery with one of unknown provenance, maybe I could rent a booster pack that mounted in a way that was easy to swap multiple times in one trip and was only good for 75 miles or so. They’d have to be standardized, but they’d at least be acceptable.

          2. Yes, a roof rack mounted battery which added say 100 miles range and took about 30 to 40 minutes to swap out. This way you could connect to a fast charger and charge while the extendo battery was swapping.

            This way even more would consider a 250-300 mile EV knowing they could get an added 100 miles on longer trips without any additional charge time. Aerodynamics and body roll issues would have to be considered and might bean that 100 miles of addition range can’t be done safely. But would be an interesting method of temporary range extending.

          3. Sorry Spaceminion, an overbuilt bike rack might not cut it. 18650s are 45grams a piece. Thats 33.5 pounds per kwh without any connectors or casing. You have a forklift in your garage?
            As for the budget, He setout to buy a second bolt initially. After having a couple of ready to drive ones slip out from under him on copart, he saw a $5k buynow on a wrecked bolt in portland…and started his apology speech to his wife.
            He parted it out in his garage, keeping the battery and a bits his car needed but selling enough parts to buy the second wrecked one, which funded the third. The combination of the three became the two batteries in the floor of his trailer.
            So it was more having a bunch of covid cash accumulated and being able to float it for awhile. But he brags endlessly about the fact that he “TECHNICALLY didnt pay it, It paid for itself and then some, just got sweat equity in it.” LOL

            It doesnt take any longer for him to hitch the trailer than any other loaded trailer. Its a regular enclosed trailer with a tongue jack and a ball hitch. Just in addition to the tiny plug that runs the lights and electrohydraulic brakes…theres A BIG FAT CABLE that goes into a receptacle on the car.

            It still has quite a bit of interior space as the pair of batteries are only ~10-12 inches thick from what I can tell…but he cant load the trailer much. Hes only got 400 pounds left on the capacity. He had to have a custom bumper/hitch done, but it was one of those burningman engineer welder buddy deals.
            >renting….75 miles or so
            He adds 300-400 miles depending on the slope and regen gains. So Like I said, All the places that rent cars and trailers now could easily be pick up, drop off, relay points.

            There are a total of 20762 uhaul locations in United States as of April 26, 2023. Adding battery maintenance and charging to their mechanics skillsets, and having a supplier of range extending trailers in a few tiers like 30/60/120/180kwhr (288/576/864 cell) or whatever they decide.

            As for standardization, Hes got a custom switch thing that tricks the car into thinking the batteries in the trailer are the batteries in the floor, He has a three way switch to toggle between them.

            But id imagine these future hypothetical commercial versions would use an inverter to mimic the grid tied charger with adapters for different vehicles if the industry hasnt standardized that end yet. Im not sure if you can charge while driving but I like to imagine its a software guy issue.

          4. The “overbuilt bike rack” would only be for a generator, not a 20+ kWh battery. (And not a regular one, which is heavy and slow in order to make 60hz) Although I could be cheeky and say I never said I wasn’t referring to a motorbike re: weights.

            Anyway, putting things on the roof drops range a lot; putting them behind is potentially better since we usually don’t have a full taper there. There’s already products that attach to a trailer hitch and allow you to bring cargo heavier than bicycles behind you, in a less-bad aero way especially if you have a shell around them. Batteries on the roof isn’t any good for weight either, or especially for handling, so that sounds like a no-go until tech improves so much that you might no longer want any there.

            A trailer could be a bit less inefficient despite the rolling resistance if it was at least one of the very low profile ones – like you said the batteries aren’t very thick. But towing a trailer on a trip is not nearly as easy and pleasant as having everything in the vehicle – merging on highways, finding parking, etc. Depending where you’re driving, a full day might be 75mph * 12 hours = 900 miles for reference, so you’d need to make sure to plan out where you pick up a new trailer but if they *really* took off I could see it working. The form of a pickup truck takes less of an efficiency hit if you carry heavy things around in the bed – but would be one of the vehicles that would be more ideally a hybrid not needing booster packs. If car efficiency improved enough that you could go more like 8-10 miles per kWh instead of 3-5, maybe you could load 6-10 1kWh batteries in the back by hand over and over, though it’d still be more than I suspect people would want to try to do. Attaching the same weight to a hitch is easier.

    2. A more efficient battery can either have more capacity for the volume/weight, or smaller volume/weight for the same capacity. Unless you know how big/heavy a battery Toyota put in that car compared to the competition, you don’t have enough information to make that claim.

  1. Progress for progress sake, eh?! Perhaps Toyota is simply recognizing that with existing battery technology we can not make enough electric vehicles for the world. I have no idea why you are so sour on hybrid powertrains as they are currently the only real option for the drastic, global change that is required. 50+ mpg is readily available and can be manufactured in the numbers needed to onboard China and India.

    Mazda is also making great strides in the hybrid sector with their rotary/hybrid supposedly getting 200+ mpg.

    I bought and enjoyed Kodak’s MegaPixel DC215 (1 megapixel!) camera – in fact, they produced many digital cameras (#1 manufacturer in 2005), but I believe it was the cell phone that rendered their “point and shoot” cameras dead (only 7% market by 2010). That along with Kodak’s enormous management weight and the questionable decisions that only a giant could make (buying a pharmaceutical company?!).

    Our immediate future needs to be hybrid. Until there is a major breakthrough with battery technology this is our only real hope (well, that and getting rid of Air Conditioning – sweat you suckers! For the Earth!!).

    1. BTW, I agree completely with your thoughts on Hybrid being where we need to focus right now. I have 2 hybrids. The 2013 Toyota Prius would get 50+ MPG when I drove it (my son now drives it and hasn’t met that standard, but he’s young and will learn). My current Ford Escape hybrid gets about 44 MPG. I can go 600 miles on a tank of gas (13 US gallons). Not too shabby. Wish they had the PHEV available when I bought it, but it was 2022 and there were few cars on the lot.

  2. With all due respect Toyota is the only company that can survive.
    100% electric powered cars are unfeasible in the real world, the existing infrastructure does not support this energy need and distribution companies are doing nothing to solve this, see the most recent problems in California.
    The mobility solution involves hybrid vehicles, and in the case of cargo transport, hydrogen is the solution.
    There is a great movement around the world for this 100% electric transition but it is impracticable or at least it will not occur safely in the next 100 years, these deadlines and expectations are being formulated by environmentalists and marketing managers.
    Toyota has focused on developing hybrid powertrains, every company that really wants to market cars in scale needs to understand that the solution is hybrid, people need to separate the ecological dream from the reality of the world, otherwise we will be replacing internal combustion vehicles with vehicles electrics that will need a diesel-powered backup generator installed on your lawn.

      1. Okay how much money did you spend on them? How much was goverment and other organisational subsidies?
        How much did it cost to make and produce those panels the whole manufacture of which is subject to tax cuts and goverment subsidies?

        Yes electric vehicles are excellent in certain situations but for most people its not economically feasible at all. The only reason why the electric vehicle industry exists is due to economic distortion from the state.

        How much did that full EV cost really? Shipping the exotic materials needed for batteries on massive container ships that burn the nasty shit that is fuel oil how much was that?

        Anyways *sticks phone in ass* lets go.

        1. Cars were not economically feasible for most people 100 years ago. Phones too, 30 years ago. Or internet. Or fridges. It have to start somewhere.

          The rich start using something new, they pay for the infrastructure, and later it becomes cheaper and more accessible. Worked for the telegraph, radio, TV, combustion engines, will work for electric cars too. Today we have Teslas, Porches, Audis and Mercedes, in 10 years we will have Skoodas, Ladas and cheap brands using electricity.

          Solar panels were an unsustainable business 20-30 years ago: they would generate way less power in their lifetime than their costs. Now they do pay for themselves. Now it’s possible to install a bunch panels on your roof, a stationary battery on the garage, and recharge your EV “for free” when you get back.

          Progress will catch up. It’s not because it’s kinda expensive right now that will be the same in a decade or less.

          1. Oh the tech will get much more feasable and you will have a small transition to electric but. Fund the research not the distribution of uneconomical half prototype half developed product.

          1. heh

            Yeah. The American Gov did some sketchy shit back in those days too. Never should have started down that slope of “its the federal goverment’s responsibility to” etc etc.

            But now you are stuck with the current oil industrial complex lol.

    1. You think the grid won’t supply battery chargers but will supply hydrogen splitting.

      Or do you think we’ll make much hydrogen from natural gas?
      Why not just run the cars on the methane? (straight line: Suggested comeback about ‘proper fittings’).

    2. 100% electric is easier if you don’t need it to be the size and shape of a barn and seat six linebackers while hauling a horse trailer. The Aptera may or may not ever make it to production, but it’s proven that you can move two people and all their luggage comfortably with multiple times less power than the popular EV’s require – something like 100Wh/mile instead of 300-600. Sure, it can’t do everything a truck can, but if we’re going to make the best use of limited amounts of batteries, it’s stupid to put 200kWh packs in $100k pickups instead of smaller packs in multiple commuter cars or hybrid trucks for the people who actually need it instead of the dudebros.

        1. ‘busa motor smart car!

          Seriously search YouTube. It’s awesome.

          But I couldn’t get it licensed if I was buying drinks at the state referees place. Bloody fascists!

          1. Sanity kick in?
            Are you aware that ball sports consume far more fossil fuels than motorsports?
            Hint: how do fans get to the stadiums.

          2. Ball sports is another industry I would gladly trade for a cleaner earth. I was targeting NASCAR because it is entirely based on watching people burn fuel as quickly as they can.

            Some day I will run my own fascist regime for the good of the planet.

          3. The2dCour: At least you’re comfortable being a bloody fascist.

            Go ahead, try to outlaw motorsports…Expect a bad outcome for you…That will get you hung form a lamppost in the EU…To say nothing of the USA.

        2. Yeah, the electric city cars such as the smart cars seem like they make a lot of sense. Unfortunately many people in cities buy vehicles that mimic those needed in rural areas instead. The boxy little city cars would seem neat if there weren’t a bunch of diesel brodozers with a two foot lift sharing the network of potholes that cities insist on calling roads.

          What the Aptera indicates to me is that for highway driving you can make a comfortably sized, capable car and still not take that much energy, but you have to choose the shape based on aerodynamics.

          1. Stop trying to make Aptera happen. It’s not going to happen. It went bankrupt once already, and now is just a Chinese investment/subsidy vehicle.
            No one is going to drive in small composite canoes on public roads just like no one rides recumbent bicycles unsarcastically.

          2. Reading comprehension is a valuable skill. I made it very clear that the reason I’m bringing them up is that they’ve shown it’s possible to have both better interior space and much better highway efficiency than two seat economy cars and so-called smart cars. Your short rant could be entirely correct yet my point would still stand. If a two seater can be that efficient, even a 4-seater could be significantly better than current cars without size problems. And the hub motors seem to be pretty beneficial for space. If people will buy hardtop Miatas, then there’s a space to be filled, regardless who ends up filling it.

  3. “…completely dependent on a currently non-existent hydrogen infrastructure. The electric grid already exists for moving energy around…”

    That is quite an assumption. If a 3/8″ waterline supplying an industrial complex is considered a working situation, then I suppose the electric grid is ready for electric cars. BTW, your overlords prefer something with a switch.

  4. Try googling ‘hydrogen japan’ or ‘ammonia japan’ and you’ll get an idea of why hydrogen cars are still hot in that country. Nations not rich in petroleum or land (from which to harvest sunlight or wind) need to import high density renewable energy and ammonia (convertible to hydrogen for local use) is the trending medium of long haul transport.

    Of course, nuclear would be good for electric car charging, but Japan seems have acqired a distate for that lately.

  5. Battery technology is always a choice. You have safety, usefulness (weight, voltage, current) and energy density. Pick two.

    That’s just how chemistry works and there’s no way around it.

    A milk float or a golf cart will operate for 20+ years with very little risk of fire. A modern electric scooter, car or a bus may catch on fire at any moment, all it takes is a signle cell failing – and all of them are already kept at the edge. That’s Oceangate approach to safety.

    1. The whole process of improvement is in finding things that get a greater total than before, and then rebalancing the tradeoff choices to get what you want. If you have new cells that are 5% less safe but 50% more energy dense, then you can spend a bit of space on materials around the cells keeping them safe, and then you have something that’s better in both categories. You might choose not to do that if a larger capacity is more important to you than safety, but that’s what standards are for.

  6. Full Electric Vehicles are the Compact Disc of this particular moment in history. Some varient of Internal Combustion Hybrid will eventually become the sane choice. I’m not talking fossil fueled engines, though they will be with us for a while yet.

    Batteries are expensive and are deteriorating from the moment they are manufactured. The solution is to only use as much battery as is necessary, rather than powering the entire vehicle from one. This makes maintenance cheaper and easier.

    I think Toyota are being very smart and realistic about how things are likely to shake out once Tesla becomes unprofitable and the market wobbles.

    Until we have batteries the size of an average fuel tank that can get you 300 miles and charge in a couple of minutes, my money is on Toyota!

    1. Tesla Model Y is now the best selling car in the world, beating out the Corolla, which is less than half the price. Game over for Toyota! Most of the people buying Teslas are coming from Toyotas and Hondas.

      1. Except the only reason for that is new chinese regulations has crippled the import ICE automotive market there. But go off fanboi!

        >Chinese companies have been faster to adopt EVs than foreign ones, so automakers from Europe, Japan, and the US will be most affected by this glut of vehicles. Sales from Chinese brands are flat year-over-year, but sales from US brands are down 12%. German and Korean brands are down 22%, and Japanese and French brands are down more than 40%.

  7. Quite simply the ridiculous prices of electric vehicles is why I am not particularly fond of them. They contain less components and electric motors are far simpler to manufacture than ic-engines. Ah, but the behemoth batteries which are nothing more than an assload of 18250’s linked together. The price to recharge at a power station isnt much less than filling the tank with gas. Greed, greed, greed! Greed does not lend itself to a cleaner, greener future. Greed will cause us to fail with our efforts to slow, stop and hopefully reverse global warming! Also automakers are on the wrong path to adopt and expand the use of SAS features. By supplying every vehicle with all the premium featured hardware whether the prospective buyer wants it or not, is ridiculous and only puts more shit into landfills when the car is disposed of. Once again greed is driving this trend! Advertising is an enormous drag on everyone and our environment. If the USPS banned the mailing of unsolicited mail, that would lighten the volume of mail processed dramatically. Also less resources and energy to produce the junk mail. Which in turn should lower the costs of postage. So why do we allow it happen? GREED! The bandwidth sucked down by online ads, analytics, trackers and all that bullshit costs everyone more money and more energy used! But the advertising consortiums seem to have boundless power and privileges as if they serve something truly useful in this world. They do not serve anything but theirselves and the greed which drives them.

    My point is that there are plenty of other ways to help save our planet, yet we overlook the obvious and the extreme! The beef industry and methane emissions is a far greater issue than CO2 is.

    1. Being able to eat traditional staples (excluding endangered species, potentially certain other species, or needlessly wasteful practices) is a more justifiable reason to emit carbon than various manufactured luxuries are. And much of the methane from food industries is easily reduced but they are economically pressured to care about costs of feed and such rather than methane emissions. I remember being told that changing the feed for cows would cut the methane emissions drastically, almost like you judged human emissions of the same kind by measuring a bunch of people who ate nothing but beans all day.

    2. I didn’t read your entire Koolaid-soaked rant, but if you opened your eyes and stopped getting your “facts” from MSNBC and Zuckerberg, you’d know that “greed greed greed” is exactly what is behind your gaia-worshipping doomsday cult. Humans are the “carbon” the globalists want to reduce.

  8. A lot of posts advocating for hybrids. Yep, all the weight and electronics as pure EV’s to carry around when running on gas PLUS all of the Gas, Oil, Hoses, Maintenance and Pollution from ICE vehicles.

    So the future must be Hydrogen. Unfortunately, creating hydrogen requires massive amounts of electricity to be created. Then it has to be transported, transferred and stored within the vehicles in special containers (because hydrogen is ALWAYS trying to escape). And to create the infrastructure that hydrogen vehicles would use will require massive investments to convert Gas stations to Hydrogen stations. (yes, clearly there is a space for hydrogen for large scale users such as shipping, mass transit and long haul trucking, but not at the individual driver level)

    But what about the grid, it will never be able to handle a lot more EV’s 10 years from now.
    Actually, most non-renewable power plants and infrastructure are just sitting around overnight when demand is low which is perfect for EV charging. Typically local utility companies will cut the cost of electricity in half if used after midnight so there is plenty of untapped availability there.

    Not to mention that when Vehicle-to-Grid becomes more widely available, the batteries within EV’s that are parked at home will be able to balance out fluctuations in the grid (Germany is already doing this with Solar panels on their houses).

    But what about the cost and scarce materials of EV’s? Is the price of drilling, refining and transporting all of the tons of fossil fuels that ICE cars CONSTANTLY require being factored into the discussion (in addition to Oil, Antifreeze, etc) compared to the one time cost of building an EV.

    Are EV’s too expensive right now? Sure, but economies of scale are coming.
    It’s pretty clear that from cradle to grave, the lifetime cost of an EV is much lower than either ICE vehicles or hybrids.

    1. Yep. Something, something, something, no free lunch. I guess we have to choose the best balance of nutrition and affordability.

      “Typically local utility companies will cut the cost of electricity in half if used after midnight so there is plenty of untapped availability there”.

      Until demand overnight rises significantly, or at least to a level where the power producers can justify price hikes. I tend to think that the cost of charging a vehicle will just go up over time if the future is all electric.

      When governments figure out how to extract road taxes without gasoline taxes, the EV TCO will go up again.

      When there are enough EV’s on the road to perpetually clog up the HOV lanes, they’ll no longer qualify by default and the convenience of driving an EV will go down.

      Consequences: they’re everywhere.

      1. > Until demand overnight rises significantly, or at least to a level where the power producers can justify price hikes.

        Residential demand will never outpace industrial demand on industrialized countries. And on non-industrial countries the price is the same day or night.

        > When governments figure out how to extract road taxes without gasoline taxes, the EV TCO will go up again.

        They will just tax the cars yearly, like in Brazil.

      2. Washington state’s been flirting with the idea of a mileage tax for years (even ran a pilot program with volunteers) to make up for the lost gas-tax revenue, but it needs gps tracking, which is probably the biggest deal-breaker.

        1. It shouldn’t need GPS to be nearly fair. We have odometers that are already required to be pretty accurate, and the mileage is collected at registration inspections and oil changes and everything. While you can get farm diesel without road tax for off-road use, usually people don’t run their cars on it anyway because they want to be able to go on the road again and they’d have to run it dry to get all the dye out otherwise. So it’s mostly fair to assume that the miles driven are the miles on road. Maybe you could make a new carve-out for farm use and farm plated vehicles and such.
          Either way much better than the fixed annual fee for EV’s some states have loved.

          1. And realistically, going by odometer AND vehicle weight would be the most fair method of charging for road use, wear and tear. There could be exemptions for mileage driven out of the country(Mexico or Canada) but that would be about it.

            This eliminates false understanding of how much fuels really cost but does mean funding does not come in as a steady flow but comes in as larger lumps at annual registration fees. So not so easy to hide the pain of those taxes. But it does mean annual registration needs the odometer verified.

          2. Well it’s already collected. That’s the point. And the rough weight range is known for each VIN; no need to track whether someone’s pulling a trailer or something even if you decide to use it in calculation beyond the major weight classes that separate passenger cars from busses and such.

    2. Are you saying that hybrids have the same weight of battery to carry around plus the engine? If so have you looked at the size of a hybrid battery? It’s the size of a small suitcase. It’s easily accessible in the case of a Prius. It’s user serviceable if you know what you are doing.

      Also the wear on a hybrid engine is significantly reduced compared to a standard internal combustion vehicle. The fluids used to cool and lubricate the engine are recyclable.

      Emissions are much lower too. I just completed a 15 mile journey today in our gen 3 Prius and the car remained in EV mode for 95% of the time. Unless you are trying to drive it like a race car it sips fuel in normal mode and every revolution of the engine is going towards generating tasty electricity.

      The “one time cost” of an EV does not factor in the constantly dying battery. My ICE car is rapidly approaching 40 years old and with decent maintenance it could go on indefinitely. A Tesla will be end of life in about 11 years and will require significant investment to replace the battery, so much so that some owners have opted to blow theirs up rather than pay.

      Tesla will not produce batteries for older cars beyond a point. EVs are essentially disposable. Take a Nissan Leaf from 10 years ago, it’s battery is basically integrated into the chassis. It’s range today will likely be less than 60 miles, but you’d better not exceed 40 if you want to be safe. Without significant investment, likely massively more than the value of the car, the battery will never be replaced. Who wants a vehicle that’s range is tending towards “walking distance”?

      Hybrids have the potential to keep going for decades with relatively small investment, just like my ancient car.

      Once they are fueled with something clean, a hybrid will have all the upside of an EV, with no real downside.

    3. The main problem is not Hybrid, it’s poor engineering. If we go to a small 3 or 4 cylinder and do a proper hybrid it isn’t as bad as all that. Take a gander at the simplest cars and Hybrid can actually make some things better EG: air conditioning should be 100% electric, then you can shorten up the lines and possibly integrate it to another component. CVT and Automatic is expensive and complicated, but if you make the transmission out of a single electric-driven planetary gearset you have reduced the complexity and the fragile nature of torque converters, friction materials, fluid pumps etc.

      Just as turbo manifolds are now integrated into the head casting we still have a ways to go with simplifying.

      Just look at the difference between a Toyota Echo/Yaris and a first gen Prius. Think what a hybrid could be if it was simplified down to the level of that Echo or Yaris instead of a technology test bed or a glommed on “giant alternator” ‘hybrid’.

      I’m sorry to say the news outlets severely panned the Chevy Volt, when by owner’s accounts its a quite decent engineering compromise that can run full EV for the 95% of trips you take, and seamlessly take long road trips on Gas. (Correct me if I am wrong, but Toyota and GM also joint developed the 4 cylinder that GM used, Ecotec II).

      Using the gas motor only when necessary is a good stop-gap solution until battery becomes viable mainstream.

  9. I see the petroleum industry shills are out astroturfing as bigly as they can. Electricity everywhere is the solution (heating, cooking, transport). It’s fungible, and easily made. A lot of new businesses could thrive in an electric world, but the current (!) incumbents will fight to remain relevant and put that off as long as possible.

    1. The incumbents have solutions in front of them. They could make efuels a thing, all it needs is a few trillion dollars to make carbon capture actually work and investing in green electricity production for hydrolysis. Unfortunately being publicly owned limits long term investment in favour of short term gains so they’re spending on advertising instead which doesn’t solve anything.

  10. Must be press release time or something.

    A couple of days ago I stumbled upon an article, also stating that Toyota is coming out with a solid-state battery, also as infuriatingly devoid of technical detail as this one (you can formally smell the press release).

    So I went to trusty Wikipedia [1] and learnt that Toyota is at it since 2012, and that (quoth) “Due to its early intensive research and coordinated collaborations with other industry leaders, Toyota holds the most SSB-related patents”.

    So it’s not as if they just came out of the thicket surprising everyone. They have been doing technological advances like everyone else does, step by step, caring and feeding engineers.


    1. IMO, the details of the battery tech and development are less important than that Toyota is pulling back from hydrogen, because they were the only global automaker really pushing it.

      This article is pretty good, pretty recent
      and he mentions the Toyota/Panasonic joint venture, which is a big part of Toyota’s solid-state research effort.

      Lewin’s basic conclusion: all of the car manufacturers are keeping their eyes on solid state. Some investing more R&D, some less.

  11. But they may be right. Whether electric vehicles are the better choice is up for debate. Literally billions of them must first be produced and are stuffed to the brim with rare earths, copper and other precious materials. Electricity must be produced, distributed and stored at a loss. Internal combustion engines have evolved into nearly perfect heat engines. If the fuels for them could be produced sustainably and renewably for $5 a gallon, we would have everything we need.

    1. $5/gallon is not sustainable for those making minimum wage in areas with little public transportation, and if it was being produced for $5/gallon, the profit and taxes would increase that to $10/gallon or more.

      1. not only that but at best ICE is going to get your 30% efficiency so 70% of what you’re burning is not used for locomotion. EVs are over 80% efficient at converting stored energy to locomotion. Might even be over 90% if you exclude charging loses.

  12. • In 2017 Toyota announced a Solid State Battery would be on sale in 2020
    • In 2020 they said it would be here for 2022
    • 2023 they have same announcement again, this time for 2025.

    Anyone see a pattern here?

    IMHO, it’s an attempt to trick people into buying yet another ICE Camry while they wait for “the perfect EV” that Toyota have no intention of actually building.

  13. “Those ads called Toyota hybrid cars with their tiny onboard batteries ‘self-charging electric cars.'”
    If they have a purely electrical drive train, then that’s exactly what they are. Btw a Tesla is often charged on fossil fuels too.

    1. EXCUSE ME You must double check your facts I have a dozens of stories from car magazines with very good reputations Toyota is coming out with a electric car somewhere between 745 miles on the charge and 900 miles on the charge with a amazing 10 minute charging time coming out in 2027 google the story for the story for yourself.

      Another extremely interesting fact Porsche is coming out with a car Uncertain of the date very soon 800 mile charging range 15 minute charging time.

      1. You replied to the wrong comment. I quoted the linked article. They are not my facts. Those quotes were about Toyota’s existing hybrid cars. Toyota doesn’t have electric cars (yet).

  14. Maybe you guys should look up Power Paste Hydro ..

    This is why Toyota did not do a kodak moment but the are preparing an IPHONE moment.

    Power paste is what will change the whole game.

    These electric cars are just not worth it.
    Hydro is the future and will be the future.. at least I’ve been saying this for the last 20 years.

  15. …owned the second model of Kodak digital camera that they created. Cost au$1300 in ~Jan 1998. Was a 1 meg pix camera. Saved to a pcmcia card and it wasn’t the floppy disk version. Used four AA batteries, which lasted about 20 , maybe 30 hi-res photos. She sure certainly did *suck* the battery juice. But the pics really weren’t too bad comparing them with other cameras at the time.

    1. My dad had a Kodak digital camera. It would eat batteries. Alkaline batteries did not last long. With high-end NiMH batteries it would last long enough. Especially if you have two sets of batteries and you turned it off when not using it. The exposure was quite inconsistent (I don’t know if it was ISO value or shutter speed), but if you took a few pictures there usually was at least one properly exposed photo. My dad created a mount to put it on a telescopic lens for bird-watching. It produced some nice pictures.

  16. Methanol fuel cells? Anybody? Has this been deprecated as a possible venue of low carbon emissions? We can make and have mad Methanol for centuries. Why must the answer to the equation only be BEV??

    Hybrids, Methanol fuel cells, Hydrogen Paste, whatever can allow for rapid refuel and low cost will and should win the day. But please stop wearing the “I bought an electric vehicle and anybody who hasn’t is killing the planet” badges. Many of us are doing our part, we just don’t see things the way you do.

    Until our energy needs are met with cyclical technology (Carbon Capture synthetic petroleum, using Nuclear or Green energy to produce that synthetic fuel stock) we need to do what we can to help. But many of us see BEVs as a niche product. It’s my opinion that unless they can show longevity of use without battery replacement they will not win the day.

  17. An all electric car is only good for short trips. Solar panels on our roof where we average more than 100 inches of snow each year isn’t going to happen. When all my neighbors have electric vehicles our street will have rolling black outs.

    So Toyota’s hybrid plan looks to be a great solution to me. As opposed to GM’s all electric plan which makes no sense. Maybe GM will sell enough electric vehicles to survive. GM also seams to think that passenger cars are no longer needed either.

    Usually our new car was our trip car. But if our next auto is all electric it won’t be used on our longer trips.

    1. Wow, you must be hilarious at parties with all those made up ‘alternative facts’. Currently sold EVs get well over 250 miles of range and as the story mentioned, new technology is improving that every year. Also, you don’t have to charge your EV with solar panels on your roof. The electricity can come from all sources which can generate electricity and be sourced over electric lines. ICE vehicles last almost 20 years so you won’t see your neighborhood full of EVs for some time and guess what, they can be charged at different times based on simple software in the chargers and on the cars. And it’s likely you’ll end up using the power in the car to provide your home with power when outages happen during those snow and ice storms.

      I also would not look to GM for predicting the future of non-ICE vehicles. They market the heck out of bashing things they don’t want to change to.

    2. Good news, with the rolling blackouts your cars will be able to power your house.

      Also there are 15-45 minute chargers for your long trips, unless you never stop to stretch your legs every 2-3 hours. Or just rent a long term car for long trips?

      This is for the smart people commuting a 20-year old economy car to work every day intead of a gas guzzling v8 truck. Using the $100s of dollars in savings (in gas alone, nevermind the cheaper maintenance and insurance costs) per month to allow them to use their bigger vehicles on their off days. The real question is whether an electric can beat a 20-year old Corolla for general commuting. If the charging infrastructure improves the next question will be can it beat a Corolla for a 4-5 hour trip to the ocean or next state.

      Either way as a hacker it is a great time because you can get a whole EV drivetrain for scrap metal prices. Just need to figure out your own battery and maybe convert that Corolla to electric for your Commute. (If it is an in-town commute you could even use golf cart batteries, which happen to be quite recyclable, and thus good for the environment).

  18. Those are the same people who brought you fantastic bullshit like the “Self Charging Hybrid”.

    Nah, cocks on the table and I bring the measuring tape. Otherwise their word means nothing.

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