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Toyota refines lithium-ion tech for future EVs

Toyota refines lithium-ion tech for future EVs
Santosh Nair Santosh Nair Monday 31 October 2016, 12:30 PM

Toyota Motor Corp has revealed that their engineers have advanced the lithium-ion battery technology which allows them to safely package battery packs with more power at lesser costs, giving them a shot at the growing EV market.

Toyota has held back from the lithium-ion technology in the past due to inherent problems like cost, size and unstable nature of the lithium-ion battery. Let’s understand that most lithium-ion car batteries use a combination of nickel, cobalt and manganese that allows them to store more energy while taking lesser time to recharge.

However, these applications still have a tendency to overheat and catch fire if not designed, produced and controlled properly. Toyota has kept this in mind while improving their technology to accurately monitor the temperature and condition of each of the 95 cells in the battery pack. The car maker works in close association with battery supplier Panasonic Corp to ensure the batteries are free of impurities since microscopic metal particles can trigger a short circuit, overheating or even an explosion.

"It's a tall order to develop a lithium-ion car battery which can perform reliably and safely for 10 years, or over hundreds of thousands of kilometres," said Koji Toyoshima, chief engineer for the Prius.

Toyota has also shrunk the size of each cell which in turn has doubled the battery capacity, while only increasing the battery pack size by around two-thirds but has cut down the weight by half. Toyota revealed that its upcoming Prius Prime will be equipped with this new battery tech that can get the car to do 60km on a single charge before the petrol motor kicks in.


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