Toyota Collaborates with Idemitsu on the Next Race Track: Will Solid Electrolytes Eventually “Overtake” China and the US on the Bend? The timeline is 2027!
The saying that resources and power go hand in hand has long existed in the automotive industry, with oil always being the coveted ground during the era of gasoline vehicles. In recent years, with the rise of domestic new energy vehicles, gasoline vehicles have gradually retreated from the center of capital competition, and new energy vehicle batteries have become the new hotspot. After all, those who have the “battery resources” have absolute say.
We understand this point, and so do Japanese cars which have lost market share to domestic new energy vehicles.
Recently, it was reported that Toyota announced an agreement with Idemitsu Kosan to jointly develop the mass production technology of solid electrolytes, improve production efficiency, and establish supply chains to realize the mass production of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
According to foreign media reports, Japan’s second-largest oil refining company, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., has been developing solid sulfide electrolytes, a material used for new batteries.
From the exposed information, this news is akin to an explosive impact on the currently booming electric vehicle market.
The two parties plan to commercialize the next-generation batteries between 2027 and 2028, followed by full-scale mass production. Currently, both parties have jointly formed a research and development team of dozens of people.
It’s well known within the industry that lithium-ion batteries have reached their limit. Many domestic brands have already started working on solid-state batteries in anticipation. Toyota is looking straight at the next stage of the competition, skipping the current stage altogether. It’s undeniably a targeted move by Toyota, but can they really get running without understanding the route?
So what’s unique about Idemitsu that gives Toyota the confidence to aim for the next race track?
Established in 1940, Idemitsu initially made its fortune by selling lubricating oil. Although it’s a cross-industry move, Idemitsu now stands at the forefront of the industry in terms of energy applications and materials. Moreover, Idemitsu has been committed to researching the basic technology of all-solid-state batteries since 2001, a full 5 years ahead of Toyota, which only started in 2006. It’s not to say, should we not look to “little cherry blossoms”? If we can’t do it ourselves, we can find a “big brother” first. After all, “little cherry blossoms” seeking “big brothers” is not a new story.
Coming back to the point, Toyota had previously claimed that it would launch a pure electric vehicle (EV) equipped with “all-solid-state batteries” to the market by 2027 at the earliest, supporting ultra-fast charging and ultra-long-range, with a 10-minute charge yielding a 1200 km drive. At the time, it seemed like Toyota was just boasting, but now it seems that this vehicle could very well be the first “crystallization” of Toyota and Idemitsu’s collaboration. Perhaps the words of Toyota’s CTO Yuji Nakajima, Deputy President: “We have found very good materials. We will not fall behind the times, and will definitely achieve practicality” will be validated in 2027.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Toyota will become the next winner to overtake on the bend?