Increased Range, Battery Life and Charging Speed
While Toyota may not be the first to enter the all-electric car race, they are taking their time to do it right. That’s the word from Masaya Yamamoto, a project manager at Toyota. The automaker is dedicated to making sure its first mass-market all-electric vehicle, due to be on sale by the end of the year, is safer and lasts longer than its competition.
“We focused on balancing three factors: cruising range, battery degradation, and charging speed,” Yamamoto said at a recent test-drive event for the bZ4X SUV. All-electric cars currently take hours to charge and using DC Fast Charging often causes the battery pack to heat up, leading to degradation of the battery. Charging every day over a long period of time can also lead to a reduction in overall range. Toyota has a formula to reduce battery degradation as well as potential fire hazards.
Toyota tells us that its batteries, developed with Panasonic Corp, contain a special coolant and that battery packs are structured to keep the cells and coolant separated in case of a leak. This and other innovations mean that the new battery packs will retain more than 90 percent of their capacity after a decade. That’s pretty impressive.
The Japanese automaker says that consumers in Japan have been slow to accept EVs due to worries over battery life and resale value. Toyota hopes to quell these worries by offering an EV Subscription Service. The subscription fee would cover the cost of maintenance and battery replacement.
Toyota has set a goal of selling 3.5 million EVs per year by 2030 through a $70 billion investment to go electric. Look for the new bZ4X SUV to roll into stores later this year.