Research Progress : Next Generation Secondary Batteries

As Toyota anticipates the widespread use of electric vehicles in the future, we have begun research in developing next-generation secondary batteries with performance that greatly exceeds that of lithium-ion batteries.

Figure1 R&D of Next-Generation Batteries Promote research and de facto standards for next-generation batteries with collaboration framework between R&D and production engineering

Beginning in 2010, we plan to accelerate our research through collaboration with production technologies. We are currently conducting research and development on two types of batteries, all-solid-state (shown in Figure 2) batteries and lithium-air batteries (shown in Figure 3).

Figure2 All-solid-state battery
Directly connected cells enables smaller package
Figure3 Lithium-air battery
Using oxygen in the air for the cathode and lithium metal for the anode allows for a smaller and lighter package.

By modifying liquefied electrolytes into solid electrolytes, it allows each cells to connect without the need for individual casing, which results in creating a more compact packaging.

Figure 3 shows the example of lithium-air batteries which use oxygen in the air as the cathode active material. Therefore, it achieves weight savings and better energy density by changing negative-electrode material into metallic lithium from black lead than solid batteries.

Through our success in reducing solid surface resistance, we are one step closer to achieving revolutionary developments in battery performance.

Through our analysis of liquid electrolytes and its influences, we have aimed our focus to clarify the reaction mechanisms of lithium-air batteries.