Toyota says new technology means longer battery life

November 24, 2016 by Yuri Kageyama
Toyota Motor Corp. engineer Hisao Yamashige speaks to reporters at the Japanese automaker's Tokyo office Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. Toyota says it has developed a new way of observing the movements of tiny particles in a battery used to power electric vehicles—an advance it says will help boost their cruise range by 10 percent to 15 percent. Yamashige explained to reporters the complex method for tracking the lithium ions, which are tiny particles in lithium-ion batteries, also used in laptops and smartphones. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Toyota Motor Corp. has developed a new way of observing the movements of tiny particles in batteries used to power electric vehicles—an advance it says will help boost their cruise range by 10 percent to 15 percent.

Toyota engineer Hisao Yamashige explained to reporters Thursday at the Japanese automaker's Tokyo office the complex method for tracking the lithium ions, which are tiny particles in lithium-ion batteries, also used in laptops and smartphones.

The ions' movements, which are extremely hard to detect, are critical in determining the efficiency and power of a battery.

Increasing cruise range is the biggest obstacle for electric vehicles, especially because charging stations aren't as common as gas stations.

Toyota is more bullish about fuel-cell vehicles, which are expensive but can deliver the same cruise range as gas engines. Yamashige said there is no change to that overall company policy.

Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, has no pure electric vehicles in its lineup since production of its electric iQ subcompact and other earlier models were discontinued after selling in only small numbers.

But all the world's major automakers are working on electric vehicles. Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co. leads with its Leaf, which has a range of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single charge. The Nissan-Renault alliance accounts for about half the world's pure EVs sold.

Toyota Motor Corp. engineer Hisao Yamashige speaks to reporters at the Japanese automaker's Tokyo office Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. Toyota says it has developed a new way of observing the movements of tiny particles in a battery used to power electric vehicles—an advance it says will help boost their cruise range by 10 percent to 15 percent. Yamashige explained to reporters the complex method for tracking the lithium ions, which are tiny particles in lithium-ion batteries, also used in laptops and smartphones. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Toyota's new technology will allow the company to test various materials and battery structures, and an improved electric vehicle is being planned for the commercial market within the next "several years," said Yoshinori Suga, a department manager.

The tests are being carried out in collaboration with Japanese research organization Riken, using its high-intensity X-ray facility. Toyota will present its observation method at a battery symposium in Japan later this month, sharing it with other automakers, although not its findings.

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Nattydread
5 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2016
Toyota rapidly backtracking on H2. Battery electric vehicles are really the only answer, being over 3 times more efficient than H2 overall.
gkam
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2016
Maybe for automobiles. A decade ago I worked with an executive vice-president of Toyota looking into stationary applications of their fuel cell. I wanted to design a system for semiconductor facilities and the local refineries, where high quality power is a necessity, and hydrogen is cheapest. He wanted to look into utilities.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2016
Maybe for automobiles. A decade ago I worked with an executive vice-president of Toyota looking into stationary applications of their fuel cell. I wanted to design a system for semiconductor facilities and the local refineries, where high quality power is a necessity, and hydrogen is cheapest. He wanted to look into utilities.
I wonder how quick you lost that job -? Oh wait - I seem to remember this was an interview where you talked to him for a half hour or so and that was the last time you heard from him?

Yeah you already told us about this 'job' didnt you?
Steelwolf
3 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2016
Yes, perhaps Otto, but, if you were to look and see just how well household units, ones that would power a house or a school, or even a city block community, depending on the size and number owned, but these are big things in Japan and South Korea. Singapore has some housing built this way. It is not a new tech, but there is always room for improvement. But, it is an In Use Tech presently for more than autos. And I would think that ye would have been a tad more intelligent, Otto, but you just have to harrass anyone who does not conform to your view, no matter how irrelevant they see that. Perhaps ye might of looked to see how much of a business that is nowadays.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2016
Steelwolf, I recommended to designers of data centers about 15 years ago to install fuel cells to replace some of their batteries. Fed from gas lines, they are not exposed as electrical wires and subject to interruption. DC can be generated directly, not having to suffer from multiple transformations in voltage and/or frequency. Many points of potential failure (and certain investment), are eliminated.

Their battery rooms are already designed to deal with hydrogen, which may be reformed from natural gas for PEM cells or the methane fed into a self-reforming fuel cell.

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