Koji Sato, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation
I am Koji Sato of Toyota Motor Corporation. Thank you very much for coming today despite your busy schedules and the short notice.
Idemitsu Kosan and Toyota Motor Corporation have agreed to collaborate on the mass production of solid-state batteries.
Specifically, our two companies will combine their separate efforts to mass-produce new materials and establish a supply chain for solid electrolytes, which hold the key to the commercialization of solid-state batteries.
First, between 2027 and 2028, we will start to produce solid-state batteries for use in battery electric vehicles. We will then lay the foundation for mass production.
Please let me explain the background behind this collaboration.
To reemphasize our company’s stance, battery EVs are an important option in Toyota’s multi-pathway strategy.
For the next-generation batteries that will support the evolution of battery EVs, we are developing optimal solutions in line with specific applications and characteristics, including high-output and long-range batteries, as well as high-quality and affordable versions for widespread use.
And, looking ahead to the future of battery technology, we are developing solid-state batteries as an option beyond liquid batteries.
An advantage of solid-state batteries is that the electrolyte is solid. This allows ions, which convey electricity, to move faster, thus enabling shorter charging times, increased cruising ranges, and higher power output.
Solid-state batteries are also characterized by being highly stable because they are resistant to changes in temperature and can robustly endure high temperatures and high voltages.
In addition, as solid-state batteries are smaller and more powerful, they will enable battery EVs to meet a diverse range of needs, from sports cars, which require high-power performance, to commercial vehicles, which require frequent quick recharging.
On the other hand, the biggest challenge is durability.
A longstanding technical issue has been that repeatedly charging and discharging the battery causes cracks between the cathodes and anodes and the solid electrolytes, degrading battery performance.
Since 2013, our partner in working together to solve this issue has been Idemitsu, which was one of the first companies to conduct the development of elemental technologies for solid-state batteries.
One such elemental technology is a highly flexible, adhesive, and crack-resistant solid electrolyte.
Through repeated trial and error and by combining the material technologies of both companies, we have been able to develop a crack-resistant material that demonstrates high performance.
By combining this new solid electrolyte with the Toyota Group’s cathode and anode materials and battery technologies, we are now on the path toward achieving both performance and durability in solid-state batteries.
The key theme for us going forward is mass production.
First, our two companies will together address the quality and cost aspects of solid electrolytes. We will then proceed with verifying mass production by using Idemitsu’s pilot facility and establishing a stable raw material procurement scheme.
To steadily move subsequent market introduction forward, we will establish a task force of dozens of people, including those from technology, procurement, logistics, and production technology, and we will jointly promote our efforts.
We will also combine our two companies’ materials development technology, Idemitsu’s materials manufacturing technology, and Toyota’s battery mass production technology in a full-scale effort to mass-produce solid-state batteries.
For the beginning of the manufacturing phase, the important thing is the power of realization.
Idemitsu, with its corporate vision of “Shaping Change,” positions the power of realization at the center of its corporate management.
Toyota, as well, is committed above all else to embodying its vision in its vehicles as it transforms into a mobility company.
I believe that our two companies working together will multiply many times over our power of realization.
When I first met President Kito, I learned of his strong desire to “act with the will to change the future of energy.” That’s exactly how I feel.
As we have conveyed through our Toyota Mobility Concept, Toyota believes that the key to changing the future of cars is the collaboration between the automotive and energy industries.
Our two companies will unite their strengths to mass-produce solid-state batteries and to realize innovations originating in Japan.
We will create the future of mobility together.
With this at heart, we will take on challenges and hope that you will look forward to what we will achieve.