Video: Media briefing & Investors briefing on batteries and carbon neutrality

Toyota Motor Corporation held media briefing and investors briefing on September 7, 2021. Video of the briefing is available here.

Media briefing

Investors briefing

Media Briefing

Investors Briefing

Click here for the minutes (Overseas investors and analysts)

Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda Presentation

Hello, everyone. My name is Masahiko Maeda, and I am the chief technology officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us today.

Today, I would like to talk about Toyota’s development and supply of batteries toward achieving carbon neutrality.

First, using industrial products as an example, carbon neutrality means reducing CO2 emissions to zero throughout the entire life cycle of a product, starting from procurement of raw materials, manufacturing, and transportation to use, recycling, and disposal.

As you all know, the world’s concentration of CO2 has been increasing since the Industrial Revolution.

There is no time to lose when it comes to reducing, in all aspects, the amount of CO2 emitted by humankind.

For example, according to our calculations, the CO2 reduction effect of three HEVs is almost equal to that of one BEV.

At the moment, because we can provide HEVs at a comparatively affordable price, in places where the use of renewable energy is to become widespread going forward, electrification using HEVs is among the effective ways of reducing CO2 emissions.

On the other hand, Toyota believes that the increased use of zero-emissions vehicles, or ZEVs, such as BEVs, and fuel cell electric vehicles, or FCEVs, is important in regions where renewable energy is abundant.

Furthermore, in some regions such as South America, bioethanol has been put to practical use as a response to CO2 reduction.

As mentioned above, we should focus on how to avoid carbon emissions or on how to reduce them to as close to zero as possible.

Because the options for reducing CO2 emissions depend on the energy situation at hand, Toyota will continue to try various measures to expand the options for achieving carbon neutrality.

With this in mind, Toyota is preparing a full lineup of electrified vehicles.

We want to provide sustainable and practical products that reduce CO2 emissions while considering the convenience of our customers in each region.

First of all, please allow me to look back on Toyota’s electrified vehicle achievements to date.

Since the introduction of the first-generation Prius in 1997, Toyota has also introduced PHEVs, FCEVs, and BEVs, while also improving performance.

Among such, our cumulative sales of HEVs have now reached as many as 18.1 million units.

Earlier, I mentioned that the CO2 emissions reduction effect of three HEVs is equivalent to the reduction effect of one BEV, and the 18.1 million HEVs sold to date are equivalent to the CO2 reduction effect of introducing to the market about 5.5 million BEVs.

The volume of batteries for HEVs that we have produced so far is the same as that of the batteries installed on about 260,000 BEVs.

In other words, we can say that the batteries needed for 260,000 BEVs have been used to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction effect of 5.5 million BEVs.

In the future, in light of changes in the market, we will also accelerate the introduction of BEVs and PHEVs, leveraging the strengths we have gained through our experience so far. And we will strive to reduce CO2 emissions by increasing the selection of electrified vehicles we offer and having customers in each region choose us so that we can accelerate the dissemination of electrified vehicles.

The three core technologies that support this full lineup of electrified vehicles are electric motors, batteries, and power control units.

Today, in this context, regarding batteries, I would like to share with you Toyota’s unique approach and the competitive edge that we have developed via the mass production of electrified vehicles.

While promoting a full lineup of electrified vehicles, we have also been developing and manufacturing a full lineup of batteries.

For HEVs, our focus is on power output, or in other words, instantaneous power, while, when it comes to PHEVs and BEVs, our focus is on capacity or what can be called “endurance”.

As batteries for HEVs, we have been continuously evolving nickel-metal hydride batteries and lithium-ion batteries by taking advantage of their respective characteristics.

Our bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery, which was announced this year and is focused on providing instantaneous power, will be used in an increasing number of vehicles.

For lithium-ion batteries for PHEVs and BEVs, we have been striving to improve both cost and endurance, and we will continue to improve them as we move forward.

We are developing a further advanced new type of lithium-ion battery for introduction in the second half of the 2020s.

From here, I would like to explain something that Toyota values in its development of batteries.

What Toyota values the most is to develop batteries that its customers can use with peace of mind.

Especially, we are focusing on safety, long service life, and high-level quality to produce good, low-cost, and high-performance batteries.

For example, longer service life also affects a vehicle’s residual value.

In terms of cruising range, high energy density and high-level performance are also necessary.

We want to make the charging speed faster, but too fast will affect safety.

Therefore, we think it is important to strike a balance between each of these factors to ensure safe use.

This concept has remained unchanged since batteries were installed in the first-generation Prius, and it is the same for the batteries in all of our electrified vehicles.

By applying the technology that we have cultivated through our experience in batteries for HEVs also to the batteries for future BEVs, we believe that we will be able to deliver batteries that can be used with peace of mind.

Now, I would like to introduce three examples of the many efforts required to produce batteries that can be used safely, using lithium-ion batteries as the focus of my explanation.

This is an example of ensuring safety.

It is known that each battery cell shows signs of localized abnormal heat generation during spirited driving or other driving that places a large load on the battery.

By analyzing the phenomena occurring inside the battery and conducting a vast amount of model experiments, we have been able to clarify the effect of driving style on the battery, as well as the mechanism of this effect.

Based on the results, we have been able to detect signs of abnormal local heating of cells through multiple monitoring of voltage, current, and temperature of individual cells, blocks of cells, and the entire battery pack.

The battery is then controlled to prevent abnormal heat generation.

We will maintain our concept of ensuring safety, security, and reliability down to the local areas of each battery even when it comes to BEV systems, and we will continue to refine that concept.

The second example I would like to share with you is our commitment to long service life.

We have applied the technologies that we have cultivated through the development of batteries for HEVs to PHEVs, and the batteries in the C-HR BEV have a greatly higher capacity retention rate after 10 years than the batteries hitherto used in our PHEVs.

Furthermore, for the Toyota bZ4X, which is scheduled to be launched soon, we have set a target of 90 percent endurance performance, which is one of the highest in the world, and we are currently finalizing our development efforts to achieve it.

I would like to introduce some examples of the developments that we are working on to achieve long service life.

From a detailed analysis of the inside of lithium-ion batteries, we know that degraded materials on the surface of the anode have a significant impact on the life of a battery.

To suppress the generation of these degraded materials, we are clarifying the generation mechanism and taking measures in various aspects such as material selection, pack structure, and control system.

Careful implementation of detailed analysis and an accumulation of countermeasures has led to improved endurance performance.

The third example I would like to share with you has to do with our efforts for achieving high-level quality.

If metallic foreign matter enters the battery during the manufacturing process and directly connects the anode and cathode electrically, there is the possibility of failure.

We confirmed the shape, material, and size of foreign matter that enters the manufacturing process and its effect on endurance, and we clarified how such affects batteries.

Based on this, we are being extremely attentive to the size and shape of foreign matter, and we are managing processes in a way that is aimed at preventing the generation or entry of relevant foreign matter.

What I have explained just now are only a few of the things that we are doing, but with this kind of steady and meticulous analysis and with the experience gained from the feedback of 18.1 million units in the market, we aim to continue to deliver batteries that can be used with peace of mind.

Next, I would like to explain the bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery used in the new Aqua announced in July this year.

We co-developed this battery with Toyota Industries Corporation, taking on the challenge of developing a bipolar structure, and we commercialized it as an onboard battery for driving.

Compared to the batteries used in the previous generation of the Aqua, the output density has been doubled, giving the car a powerful acceleration sensation.

As for batteries for next-generation BEVs, the BEV technologies that we have cultivated since our RAV4 EV launched in 1996 and the latest battery and electrified vehicle technologies that we have cultivated through HEVs have been incorporated into the TOYOTA bZ4X and will soon be introduced to the market.

From now, I would like to explain about the batteries of the future.

To popularize BEVs, we would like to reduce costs and provide BEVs at a reasonable price.

To start with, we aim to reduce the costs of batteries themselves by 30 percent or more by developing materials and structures.

Then, for the vehicle, we aim to improve power consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30 percent, starting with the Toyota bZ4X.

Improved power efficiency leads to reduced battery capacity, which will result in a cost reduction of 30 percent.

Through this integrated development of vehicles and batteries, we aim to reduce the battery cost per vehicle by 50 percent compared to the Toyota bZ4X in the second half of the 2020s.

Please allow me to explain the coming next-generation batteries.

For liquid batteries, we will take on the challenge of material evolution and structural innovation.

We will also aim to commercialize all-solid-state batteries.

As stated, we will develop three types of batteries, and by the second half of the 2020s, we hope to improve the characteristics of each type so that we can provide batteries that can be used with peace of mind.

Next, I would like to explain our initiatives related to all-solid-state batteries.

We are developing all-solid-state batteries to see if we can bring out the joy in such things as high output, long cruising range, and shorter charging times.

In June last year, we built a vehicle equipped with all-solid-state batteries, conducted test runs on a test course, and obtained driving data.

Based on that data, we continued to make improvements, and in August last year, we obtained license plate registration for vehicles equipped with all-solid-state batteries and conducted test drives.

There are some things that we have learned during the development process.

All-solid-state batteries are expected to have higher output because of the fast movement of ions within them.

Therefore, we would like to take advantage of the favorable properties of all-solid-state batteries by also using them in HEVs.

On the other hand, we found that short service life was an issue.

To solve this and other issues, we need to continue development, mainly of solid electrolyte materials.

We feel that having identified an issue has brought us one step closer to commercialization.

The establishment of a battery supply system is also important for the dissemination of BEVs.

With the rapid expansion of electrified vehicles, we are working to build a flexible system that can stably supply the required volume of batteries at the required timing while meeting the needs of various customers in each region around the world.

In pursuit of our battery development concept of achieving batteries that can be used with peace of mind, we will establish the needed technologies by conducting a certain amount of in-house production, and we will cooperate and collaborate with partners who understand and will put into practice our concept. We will also proceed with discussions with new partners in some regions.

We are building a system with our partners that will allow us to incorporate into discussed plans the volume of batteries that we will need in about three years.

Within the Toyota Group, we are also working to shorten the lead time for the start-up of production and to establish a system that is adaptable to change.

This summarizes our development and supply of batteries by 2030.

In development, we will aim to achieve a per-vehicle cost of 50 percent or less compared to now through the integrated development of vehicles and batteries.

In terms of supply, we will respond flexibly to the changing needs of our customers.

For example, we are assuming that we will go beyond the 180 GWh worth of batteries that we are currently considering and will ready 200 GWh worth of batteries or more if the dissemination of BEVs is faster than expected.

The amount of investment in the development of a battery supply system and research and development, as I have just explained, is expected to be approximately 1.5 trillion yen by 2030.

By establishing a system for both development and supply, we will promote the dissemination of electrified vehicles, including BEVs.

On the way to our goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, the energy situation and infrastructure of each region, as well as the sensibilities and convenience requirements of customers, will continue to change.

When it comes to electrified vehicles, cars and batteries cannot be separated. Toyota, which has been committed to producing batteries within the Toyota Group since 1997 and whose market-introduced HEVs, alone, number 18.1 million units, is an automaker that has been working on battery development as a corporate group, and, into the uncertain future of electrified vehicles as well, it intends to move forward in sure-footed steps.

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.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Source: Toyota, https://global.toyota/en/newsroom/corporate/35971839.html