"Toyota gears up its first EV with safer, longer-lasting battery"
"We focused on balancing three factors: cruising range, battery degradation and charging speed," Masaya Yamamoto, a project manager at Toyota, said at a test-drive event for the bZ4X sport utility vehicle (SUV) prototype last week.
BEVs typically take hours to charge, and using quick-charging methods often cause the battery's cells to heat up, leading to degradation. That, in turn, reduces cruising range over time, hurting a vehicle's resale value.
Toyota said its batteries, developed with Panasonic Corp (6752.T), contain a special coolant that does not conduct electricity easily. Battery packs are also structured to keep the cells and coolant separated in case of a leak.
This and other innovations mean the new BEV series' batteries would retain more than 90% of their capacity after a decade, Toyota said.