Toyota intensifies its focus on electrification and new production techniques, unveiling advancements in battery tech and adopting production methods akin to Tesla’s gigacast.
Toyota showcases progress in bipolar, liquid iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, set for 2026 or 2027 release.
Proposed batteries promise 20% improved range, 40% cost reduction, and fast charging capabilities.
Toyota experiments with self-propelled assembly lines, eliminating conventional conveyor belts and optimizing plant investments.
Toyota recently opened its manufacturing doors to journalists, offering an inside look at its commitment to cutting-edge electrification and production techniques. This initiative followed a similar event in June, aiming to affirm Toyota’s dedication to electric vehicle advancements.
Held in Aichi, close to Toyota’s namesake city, the tour highlighted the company’s endeavors in battery-based EV production. The spotlight was on the Teiho plant engineers who detailed their strides in bipolar, liquid iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. These batteries, set to debut between 2026 and 2027, are anticipated to enhance range by 20%, decrease costs by 40%, and charge up to 80% in under 30 minutes.
However, developing these batteries hasn’t been without challenges. Engineers pointed out the complexities of applying electrolytes uniformly, essential for constructing anodes and cathodes. Ensuring the batteries remain undamaged during swift assembly remains an obstacle to large-scale production.
The tour also featured the Myochi plant, where the spotlight was on a production method inspired by Tesla – the gigacast. This technique simplifies the creation of EV chassis by reducing the number of components required. While Tesla contemplates crafting an entire EV underbody using gigacast, Toyota showcased a prototype at 1/10th scale. Yet, the company’s vision is clear: produce EVs in mass, similar to its past endeavors with gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
The journey concluded at the Motomachi plant, Toyota’s most expansive and oldest facility. Here, the innovation was a self-propelled BEV assembly line. With EVs posing no threat of noxious emissions within the factory, these vehicles, once fitted with a motor and wheels, can navigate themselves through the production line, overseen by surveillance cameras. This method not only reduces initial plant costs but enhances assembly line adaptability.
Under the leadership of CEO Koji Sato, Toyota is not just innovating but is also becoming more transparent about its ambitions and efforts in the evolving automotive landscape.