Toyota plans to reveal a new electric vehicle that features a solid state battery at the 2020 Olympics in a bid to showcase the manufacturer’s battery know-how.
The Japanese car maker will put the new solid state battery-powered vehicle into production later next year, but rather a regular series-production model, it’ll power the e-Palette electric shuttle that will transport athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Toyota’s chief technology officer Shigeki Terashi told Autocar that the car maker aims to launch mass production EVs with solid state batteries closer to the middle of the next decade. “We will produce a car with solid state batteries and unveil it to you in 2020,but mass production with solid state batteries will be a little later,” Terashi said.
Solid state batteries are considered to be the next step in the evolution of electric vehicles, as they are far more energy-dense, meaning a longer driving range from a smaller pack, as well as being able to charge faster than the ones available today.
This puts Toyota ahead of competitors in the race to bring solid state batteries into electric vehicles; VW Group has so far talked of a similar timeline, while BMW indicated that we won’t see them selling EVs with solid state batteries until 2030.
The e-Palette electric shuttle is set to make it public debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, featuring numerous seating options and space for four wheelchairs. In addition, Toyota’s Olympic mobility shuttle will also feature a Level 4 autonomous system that utilizes cameras, LIDAR and high-accuracy 3D maps.
Terashi also confirmed that Toyota is planning a dedicated EV platform that will spawn new models set to be launched in Europe by the end of 2023. Prior to that, the Japanese car maker will reveal three new electric vehicles within the next two years, with one of them being a Lexus based on an existing platform.