Promoting familiarity of electric-powered vehicles.

In order to encourage the widespread adoption of electric-powered vehicles that use electricity as a power source (electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, etc.), Toyota is developing various key technologies for electric motorization.

Research on next-generation batteries that surpass lithium-ion batteries.

Toyota has started research on next-generation batteries whose energy density greatly exceeds that of the lithium-ion batteries currently used for electric-powered vehicles. We are strengthening collaboration with outside research organizations and have been building collaborative structures for production technology since 2010. We are continuing our efforts and making steady progress towards practical application in the future.

Advantages of next-generation batteries

  • Long cruising range (high-capacity)
  • Compact & lightweight

Expansion of battery development

Toyota is conducting wide-ranging development of next-generation batteries.

Development of all-solid-state batteries

Toyota is developing all-solid-state batteries, a type of next-generation battery.

An all-solid-state battery replaces the electrolyte solution used to transport the lithium ions with a solid electrolyte.

Features of all-solid-state batteries

  1. Cases to enclose each cell are not necessary and direct layering is possible.
  2. Outstanding thermal resistance allows cooling and other systems to be reduced.
  3. Use with high voltages is possible, allowing energy density to be increased.

Benefits of compact design

Making the batteries more compact enables them to be installed below the seats. This makes it possible to create a comfortable and roomy interior.

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Original development of SiC power semiconductors that greatly reduce electric power loss.

Power semiconductors play an important role in the operation of hybrid systems. Toyota is increasing their efficiency in order to improve fuel efficiency even further. We adopted silicon carbide (SiC) as a new material to take the place of silicon. We are conducting original development internally.

  • Electric power loss in hybrid systems

  • Improved fuel efficiency through the use of SiC power semiconductors

Power semiconductors use a lot of electric power, and electric power loss in hybrid vehicles can reach as much as 20%. Toyota aims to improve fuel efficiency by about 10% by developing and introducing SiC power semiconductors.

*Fuel efficiency values based on JCO8 mode

Power semiconductor

Power semiconductors turn the flow of electricity to the power control unit on and off and control the direction of flow.

Power Control Unit

The power control unit is an important component that controls electric power in a hybrid system. The unit supplies electric power from the battery to the motor during operation and charges the battery by recovering electric power during deceleration.

Silicon carbide (SiC)

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a compound of silicon (Si) and carbon (C). SiC combines silicon, which exhibits excellent performance as a semiconductor, with the hardness and heat resistant crystalline structure of diamond (carbon bonding).

Features of SiC Power semiconductors

When current ows through a power semiconductor, a portion of the electric power is lost as heat. SiC power semiconductors can reduce thermal loss compared to existing Si power semiconductors, contributing to higher fuel efficiency.

High-efficiency power semiconductors made from SiC

This video introduces the structure and other aspects of SiC power semiconductors.

(3min 9sec)

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Charging starts just by parking
Cable-free wireless charging system

The wireless charging system allows the battery to be charged without connecting any cables. Tasks including retrieving, extending, coiling, and storing the cable can be eliminated, making electric vehicles, PHVs, and other similar vehicles even more convenient.

Advantages of Toyota's wireless charging systems

  • Inconvenient cable operations are eliminated
  • Charging time is the same as cable charging
  • Large charging area

Toyota's wireless charging system

  1. Wireless communication control
  2. Power source
  3. Ground coil (transmitter)
  4. Vehicle coil (receiver)
  5. On-bord charging unit

The wireless charging system makes it possible to charge the battery simply by parking the vehicle above a coil located on the ground. Electrical energy is converted to magnetic energy, which is transmitted from the coil on the ground to a coil in the vehicle, charging the battery.

Development of special-purpose parking support system

To increase charging efficiency, Toyota developed a new parking support system that guides the driver to the optimal position. A function exclusive to the wireless charging system was added so that the intelligent parking assistance performs the needed steering operations when parking.

Driver support function

The optimal charging position is displayed on the navigation system screen. This makes it possible even for drivers who have difficulty pulling into a garage to park easily and enable charging.

Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA)

When parking in a garage or parallel parking, the vehicle provides assistance for the necessary steering operations. When the shifter is put into “R”, the system recognizes the parking space and autonomously operates the steering wheel so that the vehicle goes straight into the parking space.

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We are creating new systems and new methods of use to promote the widespread adoption of electric-powered vehicles. Toyota technological capabilities continue to advance.