Toyota may have pioneered the hybrid movement, but its focus on fuel cell technology has delayed its presence in the arena of battery powered electric vehicles. Well, better late than never, right? The Japanese automotive company claims that it will develop a more advanced electric car battery with better range in a few years.
What is fuel cell hydrogen technology anyway?
Toyota was one of the companies that saw fuel cell technology as the future of zero-emission vehicles. Unlike using plug ins and rechargeable batteries, fuel cell hydrogen technology uses traditional fuel to convert it into electricity. In theory, that makes things much easier, but in practice, the technology isn’t quite ready yet.
In theory, that makes things much easier, but in practice, the technology isn’t quite ready yet.
So essentially, while others like Tesla and Nissan were making battery-centric electric cars, Toyota was way behind in the EV game.
Toyota will unveil a new advanced battery soon
The company said on Thursday that it will soon unveil a more advanced lithium-ion battery for future electric vehicles, which will apparently boast a better battery life and up to 15 percent better range, compared to the current model.
The question of battery life and range is perhaps the most important one when it comes to electric vehicles. After all, even existing electric cars like the Model S/X or the Leaf are largely limited by their battery capacity. So it makes sense that Toyota is taking this pretty seriously:
Lithium-ion battery is a key technology for electrifying cars, and there is a clear need, going forward, for improving this technology and its performance even more. – Hisao Yamashige, a battery technology researcher at Toyota.
According to Yamashige, Toyota’s team was able to see in real time how lithium ions move inside electrodes. Theoretically, this should allow engineers to come up with solutions that would prevent the ions’ certain behavioral traits which are responsible for overheating and durability issues associated with car batteries today.