Toyota spending $13.5B on battery development for electric vehicles by end of decade

Toyota spending $13.5B on battery development for electric vehicles by end of decade
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Toyota told investors Tuesday that it plans to spend roughly $13.5 billion on developing batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030 as automakers look to compete in their commitments to reducing carbon emissions in the coming decades. 

Masahiko Maeda, the company’s chief technology officer, said in a briefing that “by establishing a system for both development and supply, we will promote the dissemination of electrified vehicles.”

“The amount of investment in the development of a battery supply system and research and development ... is expected to be approximately 1.5 trillion yen [$13.5 billion] by 2030,” he added. 

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The investment comes as part of the Japanese automaker’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality, or net-zero emissions, by 2050. 

Toyota, which kickstarted the popularity of hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles through the popular Prius, also hopes to offer its first entirely electric line of cars by 2022. 

“To adapt to the future sustainably and practically, Toyota would like to contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality by improving its adaptability to change and its competitiveness, as well as by aiming for the fundamental widespread acceptance of ever-better electrified vehicles,” Maeda told investors Tuesday. 

The executive also highlighted the company’s goal to commercialize all solid-state batteries, which are more energy dense options that charge faster, are less prone to catching fire and could potentially serve as a replacement for liquid lithium-ion batteries.

Maeda noted Tuesday that while Toyota was still working to address the short service life of the solid-state batteries, it was still hoping to begin manufacturing of the product during this decade. 

Toyota has acknowledged that the shift away from gasoline would be a prolonged process as it seeks to become carbon neutral.

In May, the automaker said that most of its U.S. vehicles would likely still use gasoline in 2030, even as Honda, Volvo and General Motors have set goals for all-electric product offerings within the next decade or so. 

“If you take a snapshot of 2030, the price of battery EVs and the provision of infrastructure around the globe probably won’t have advanced all that much,” Toyota executive Jun Nagata said at the time. “Hybrids and plug-in hybrids will be easier for customers to buy.”