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Toyota's First Solid-State Battery Car Will Be a Hybrid for Market and Testing Reasons

Many EV enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for solid-state batteries. Volkswagen and Toyota are expected to adopt them by the middle of this decade. However, the Japanese carmaker will do that in “a little bit unintuitive” way in the words of Gill Pratt, Toyota’s chief scientist. That’s because the automaker will put them first in a hybrid vehicle.
Toyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car, but the production car with them will be a HEV 14 photos
Toyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEVToyota is testing its solid-state batteries in a concept car similar to the LQ, but the production car with them will be a HEV
Pratt told that to John McElroy, from Autoline. Before anyone starts accusing Toyota of being against electric cars and hampering their progress, there are very rational and convincing reasons for that.

According to Pratt, hybrids are the ideal testing beds for this new technology. First of all, because their relatively small battery pack is “a little less sensitive to cost.” As a new technology, solid-state batteries will take time to have a massive production scale that could make them more affordable.

However, the primary motivation for the tests in hybrid vehicles is technical. Pratt mentions that “the amount of cycling that goes on in a hybrid vehicle” is tougher for the battery pack than it is in a battery-electric car. Pratt does not elaborate on that, but it is not just the amount of cycling that counts: it is also how intense each cycling can be.

A vehicle with a 100 kW electric motor and a 100 kWh battery pack would have a discharge rate of 1C. A hybrid car with the same electric motor and a 10 kWh battery pack would have a ten-times-higher discharge rate. The higher the discharge rate, the more stress a battery – or a battery pack – faces. In other words, a solid-state battery pack in a hybrid car would anticipate any problem a BEV with a similar component could present.

Toyota’s chief scientist also pointed out another good reason for the idea: the lack of fast chargers able to deal with solid-state batteries. As QuantumScape once stated, the main hope for these new cells is that they can stand much faster charging without the risks involved with current chemistries. However, having such batteries without chargers that can deliver the energy they could accept would be useless.

By putting them in hybrids or plug-in hybrids, Toyota does not depend on the infrastructure to start raising production scale for solid-state cells. People may hate the way this company takes caution to a high degree, but they can’t despise its logic on decisions such as this. They are why Toyota can promise to replace a battery pack if it drops below 90% of capacity in the bZ4X after ten years or 240,000 kilometers (150,000 miles).

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