Toyota developing next-gen sodium-ion EV batteries

Toyota developing next-gen sodium-ion EV batteries

Toyota has developed a positive electrode material that can significantly boost the capacity of sodium-ion batteries, and says the new material could lead to the development of batteries that can power electric vehicles for 500 km to 1,000 km on a single charge.

The automaker has created a prototype battery utilising the new material, The Nikkei reports. Shaped the size of a coin, the battery functions at room temperature, and is able to generate an electric voltage value – which is used to calculate the maximum mileage of electric vehicles – that’s 30% higher than that of lithium-ion batteries.

The new sodium-based chemical compound acts as the positive electrode in a sodium-ion battery. Unlike the rare metal lithium, sodium is abundant in seawater, making sodium-ion batteries potentially cheaper to make than lithium-ion ones. Development has been curbed due to their limited storage capacity, but recent technological breakthroughs may change all this.

Toyota believes that EVs will not become popular until automakers can ensure a driving range of 500 km to 1,000 km. Hybrid vehicles currently have a range of up to 1,000 km, while EVs can travel about 200 km on currently available batteries, and up to 300 km on li-ion units. The company is set to continue research, with the goal of putting its new sodium technology into commercial use by 2020.

Toyota isn’t the only company active on this front. Both Sumitomo Chemical and Sumitomo Electric are also working on sodium-ion prototypes. At Sumitomo Chemical, a prototype sodium-ion battery has been developed using proprietary hard carbon as the negative electrode, and an oxide based on sodium, iron, manganese and nickel as the positive electrode. The company says that the 5 x 5 cm battery’s storage capacity is around 90% that of comparable lithium-ion batteries.

Meanwhile, Sumitomo Electric – working with Kyoto University – has created a 20 x 20 cm prototype that uses molten sodium as its electrolyte. The battery needs to be heated to 57 degrees Celsius or higher to function, but the partners aim to commercialise it for use as a backup power source, the report adds.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.

 

Comments

  • RareEarth on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    “The new sodium-based chemical compound acts as the positive electrode in a sodium-ion battery. Unlike the ‘rare metal lithium’, sodium is abundant in seawater, making sodium-ion batteries potentially cheaper to make than lithium-ion ones.”

    LYNAS will not be happy with this developement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4
    • Kuantan ppl are :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
    • no..sodium replacing the lithium not rare earth metal..do u misunderstand “rare metal lithium”?..it is mean metal that are rare..lithium is metal that is not abundant..more like precious rare metal aurum.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
      • Painter on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        Finally, a sensible answer. Enough of non-auto related comments already!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Kalun on Nov 17, 2012 at 7:35 am

      What if I tell you that NA/Sodium is Very Reactive.

      When your car caught on fire, most likely 99.99% you won’t survive. Every form 4 chemistry student know this. We try it before. A guy in other lab, his shirt caught on fire because of sodium.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
      • You are correct if you are hearing this ten years ago. Scientists and engineers have found ways to innovate the electrodes such that the reactive behaviour can be stabilized. FYI… lithium is more reactive than sodium indeed

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • skypirate on Nov 19, 2012 at 3:00 am

        looks like your chemistry level is only at form 5 level, but it is still admirable. i bet lots of the commentators here don’t even know that sodium is highly reactive.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Finally, a respectable technology from Toyota since…..the first-gen Prius hybrid system? . Now until Toyota accomplishes its goal, all I can say is keep up the work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
  • Sam Loo on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Whovever said toyota uses old technology can now shoot their own foot! Toyota is the best!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10
    • Its not toyota that uses old tech. It’s UMW Malaysia which is stripping down the car and giving us low spec + old tech cars.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3
    • Sam Loo on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Copycat Above

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • No. Sam Loo is even better than Toyota! With words he can turn shit into gold. Serious gold.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • Twoone on Nov 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Sodium battery is old technology what they are doing is finding ways to make it effective. This tech may only be realised after 2020

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • alldisc on Nov 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    toyota first develop mass market hybrid, which combines a clever motor that acts as generator and recharges the battery as driver brakes or release accelerator.

    toyota fully utilised atkinson cycle engine and motor, with CVT gearbox never before done by any manufacturer 50 years before. even porsche had forgotten they had the same idea 100 years ago. i think they just dont know how to develop it further.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
    • Well that’s a dumb question, it’s not that they don’t know how to develop it, it’s just not a fun car to drive anymore if they ever took that route. Porsche with atkinson engine and cvt gearbox? If that happens, Porsche will die a fiery death.

      Yes the Toyota might be a workhouse and never breakdowns, but the Porsche, has true soul and passion in it. Only a few cars from Toyota can outrun a Porsche, but every Porsche can outrun most of the Toyota’s lineup.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12
      • qwerty on Nov 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        come’on! we’re talking about new breakthrough here, dun drag in comparisons of cars, arguments or any unrelated stuff please. get a life people! not wvery paultan post needs arguments.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • Porsche 918 – How to do a proper Hybrid without killing off the fun factor. But it does cost more than a few million.

          And notice – How to do a proper Hybrid without killing off the fun factor <- that's a new breakthrough, it doesn't exist in Toyota's page.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
          • Toyota is developing a KERS variant of the GT86 according to an interview with the chief engineer of the 86 by top gear, isn’t that a cheaper ,albeit slower, alternative to the 918. And plz dun tell me the gt86 is not fun to drive. Everyone who drove it will happily disagree.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
          • How could u compare toyota with porsche? the price is too much differ…

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
          • qwerty on Nov 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

            toyota does know how to make a hybrid car with fun factors!

            look at the TS030 LeMans sports car.

            even the Lexus GS450h F-Sport is fun to drive

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Painter on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        100 years ago, our forefathers loved horses over automobiles. They prefer the sweet neighing sound of a horse over the roughness and clunkiness of Ford Model Ts. Yep, and horses do have souls and cars doesn’t.

        Sensibility got the best of them.

        100 years now, we are follow the foot steps of our forefathers, that is, get over fossil fuel; soul or no soul, nonetheless.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Comparing toyota with porsche? That’s like comparing stone and gold. Toyota is junk, money making monster with no soul, no feeling. I’ve owned a camry before, nothing to shout abt. I drive a conti now and will NOT look back! Enuf said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • A conti to me shows a person achievement in life. Most of the good contis are beyond my and most people reach. Only ver-dubs and pug are the only reasonably price conti, oh and ford. The vee-dub to many people although looks classy, its quite under spec and, i am sure some will agree including the revered J.Clarkson, dull. Pugs on the other hand had a history of reliability issues in tropical malaysia, and is sad to say imma not a fan of that big smily face that most pug sold here had(pre facelift 308 face). which makes Ford the only serious( and personally better) alternative to the big T. Yes a Camry has nothing to shout about but that’s what it’s meant to do , carry you from A to B with a long but comfortable face. Get the job done in comfort and boredom. But seriously, money making monster with no soul, that’s a bit too far. You can’t judge all Toyota just bcuz of the malaysian UMW Camry. A GT86 or the Altis driver won’t say so. A hilux driver also won’t say so, look at how that chassis takes a 30mm Zpu AA gun during the Libyan civil war.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
      • tkling on Nov 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        we “monkey people” live in Sarawak know Toyota got soul….. pls do some research and read some car history …. every car got their reasons to exit!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Sam Loo on Nov 18, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Comparing Toyota with Porche?

      Toyota will run 10 years problem free. Porche will need tow trucks all the time

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
  • AsapHitam on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    look like toyota fanboy always impress… recall, rebadge and now new battery.. :P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • yamaha hamaya on Nov 17, 2012 at 1:02 am

    when the battery pack starts leaking sodium, kiss goodbye to your vehicle as it corrode into dust! Unless your vehicle is constructed on carbon fibre or polymer composite!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
  • as once people worships their best horse now we worship a car that does 200km/h and can accelerate 0-to 100km/h in seconds
    and only to skite does any car owner use this power and now where can they exceed the legal speed limits of a road.
    so the sooner we gt the battery technology sorte we will still be able to show off with out percieved range anxiety

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Ebike Guy on Nov 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

    “…is able to generate an electric voltage value – which is used to calculate the maximum mileage of electric vehicles – that’s 30% higher than that of lithium-ion batteries.”

    I’m confused. Cell voltage is not used to calculated EV range; cell energy storage capacity is. Different chemistries have different cell voltges, but this is not a predictor of range. Does anyone understand why the emphasis is being placed on cell voltage here?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Krezy on Nov 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Q=CV
      Q is what determines how far a battery will last.
      Battery is effectively a large capacitor, or very big C.
      So, the higher voltage potential,V means higher Q for the same C.
      Q=it. i is current needed to drive motor. t is time. Higher Q means longer time for the same i

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Also higher voltage will give you high power density through equation P=C(V*V)/4R. For your imformation higher power density means that faster or higher current can be delivered by the battery. So it tranlates to better acceleration or pickup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • rexis on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Toyota researching on battery potentially for PEV? They hv been studying batteries for ages to make their hybrid but eventually chose Ni-Cd battery for their prius. They are reluctant to use Li-ion for some reason, maybe due to life span.

    That sounds promising if you ask me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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