TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp aims to begin selling in 2022 an electric car powered by a new type of battery that significantly increases driving range and reduces recharging time, the Chunichi Shimbun daily reported on Tuesday.
Current electric vehicles (EVs) typically have a range of just 300-400 kilometers (185-250 miles) and need 20-30 minutes to recharge even using fast chargers. By using all-solid-state batteries, which can store more energy and can recharge more quickly than lithium ion batteries, Japan's top automaker would be removing the two key shortcomings associated with EVs today.
The EV, to be built on an all-new platform, would be able to recharge in just a few minutes, Chunichi Shimbun said, without citing sources. Toyota has decided to sell the new model in Japan as early as in 2022, the paper said.
A Toyota spokeswoman said the company could not immediately comment on the report.
Toyota, which had long touted hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and plug-in hybrids as the most viable low-emission alternative to conventional cars, said last year it wanted to add long-range EVs to its lineup as battery-powered cars gain traction around the globe.
Toyota is reportedly planning to begin mass-producing EVs in China, the world's biggest auto market, as early as in 2019, although that model would be based on the existing C-HR sport utility vehicle and use lithium-ion batteries, which power most EVs today.
Other automakers such as BMW are also working on developing all-solid-state batteries, eyeing mass production in the next 10 years.
Solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid ones, making them safer than lithium-ion batteries currently on the market.
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)