Reuters quotes Toyota battery technology researcher Hisao Yamashige saying that there is “a clear need” to improve the lithium-ion battery technology as the generally accepted standard battery type for electric cars. The performance of this battery type needs improvement, Yamashige said.
Using technologies developed in collaboration with a Japanese publicly financed laboratory and four universities, Toyota engineers were able to better monitor in real time how lithium ions moved inside the battery’s electrodes, Yamashige said. This finding should trigger new designs that prevent lithium ions from moving unevenly between the electrodes and “bunching up” within them – an effect that in current designs limits battery life and driving range. In addition, this effect can cause overheating, the researcher explainded.
Actually, improving the battery is the pivotal issue for the acceptance of electric vehicles and their manufacturers including Toyota. The Japanese carmaker is currently planning to roll out an all-electric car by 2020.