The former is the total sales data of Toyota in 2019, while the latter is the sales data of Tesla in 2019. Although the volume of the two is quite different, it does not prevent Tesla from successfully surpassing Toyota to become the world’s highest market value automobile company. Ultra high market value is a recognition of Tesla’s development mode of pure electric vehicles by the whole automobile industry.
the automobile industry has entered the new energy era, and all automobile enterprises are adjusting their strategies to develop new energy vehicles. As the core development technology of new energy vehicles, ternary lithium battery and lithium iron phosphate battery have become the mainstream choice of power battery.
when lithium battery has become the main theme of the industry, Toyota still insists on adopting Ni MH battery after 23 years of playing with hybrid power technology. Volkswagen, the biggest competitor in sales, has also acquired GuoXuan high tech, making every effort to lay out lithium batteries to meet the development trend of pure electric vehicles.
recently, according to foreign media reports, Toyota is jointly developing a new generation of power battery technology for new energy vehicles with Kyoto University researchers. What has been exposed is not mainstream lithium batteries, but new fluorine-ion batteries.
according to the exposed battery data, the energy storage capacity of fluorine-ion battery is about 7 times that of traditional lithium-ion battery, which can make electric vehicles travel 1000 kilometers at a time.
the working principle of Toyota’s new fluorine-ion battery is: the fluorine ion is transferred from one electrode to another to generate electricity through the fluoride ion conductive electrolyte. The anode or negative charge electrode is composed of fluorine, cobalt and copper, and the cathode or positive charge electrode is mainly composed of Lanthanum. At the same time, the fluorine-ion battery does not need to use lithium as raw material.
liquid electrolyte is usually used in lithium-ion batteries. Toyota’s fluorine-ion battery in research uses solid electrolyte, and the biggest advantage of solid-state battery is that the spontaneous combustion rate will be greatly reduced.
However, fluoride ion batteries also face a great challenge, that is, when the batteries work at high temperature, the solid electrolyte can conduct electricity only when the solid electrolyte is fully heated, but this may lead to the expansion of battery electrodes. To solve the problem of battery expansion, Kyoto University and Toyota team will make electrodes from alloys of cobalt, nickel and copper.
at present, almost all new energy vehicle enterprises and power battery vehicle companies are “betting” on ternary lithium battery or lithium iron phosphate battery, and these two batteries have become the mainstream choice of the industry. With the disclosure of Toyota’s fluorine-ion battery research plan, Toyota is once again gradually moving away from the lithium battery field.
such a prediction is not unreasonable. As early as January 1992, Toyota announced the “Toyota Earth Environment Charter”, saying that it would change the dependence of human beings on traditional gasoline engines by means of new energy vehicles. Toyota has been adhering to the new energy vehicle field for 23 years.
although Tesla has promoted the development of pure electric vehicles, it is the Toyota Prius that really brings new energy vehicles into the life of consumers. Since the first generation of Prius was officially born in 1997, the sales volume of Toyota hybrid vehicles has exceeded 10 million.
Toyota has always adhered to the technology of hybrid electric vehicles. This view is true. It is just a wrong judgment on the popularization speed of pure electric vehicles. The hybrid technology which is proud of has not become the mainstream. The reasons will be mentioned later in this article.
first, with the trend of the whole automobile industry gradually moving towards electrification, Toyota has the suspicion of falling behind. However, it needs to be clear that falling behind is only limited to the market of pure electric vehicles. In terms of pure electric vehicle technology reserve, there is no saying of falling behind, and it is diversified development.
second, on the road of electrification, the mass production of Toyota pure electric vehicles did go relatively slowly. In the early stage, it always took the route of hybrid power. At present, Toyota has been focusing on the development of fuel cell vehicles. However, Toyota has not relaxed its research on lithium-ion batteries, but the instability of lithium-ion batteries has made Toyota hold a reserved attitude towards its launch into the market. After all, in 2009, due to the “pedal door” event, it recalled 8.5 million vehicles worldwide, which once made Toyota face bankruptcy, and its quality and safety has reached a critical level.
in fact, the frequent spontaneous combustion incidents of ternary lithium battery models prove that Toyota’s concern is not unreasonable. It may also be this steady market posture that has led to people’s wrong idea that Toyota has made no achievements in the field of lithium batteries.
in terms of fuel cell, Toyota’s R & D investment can rank in the forefront of the entire automotive industry. Taking hydrogen fuel cell as an example, compared with the current mainstream power battery, its environmental protection is greater than the former. Theoretically, it is the most environmentally friendly battery type (emission is close to zero), and it also has the advantages of high energy conversion efficiency and long driving range. However, the biggest challenge facing hydrogen fuel cells is the cost and infrastructure construction. The operation cost is too high, and the safety has not been tested by the market.
on December 15, 2014, Toyota Motor released the world’s first mass production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Mirai in Japan. After six years of development, in addition to being welcomed in Japan, the Mirai has received moderate response in other mainstream markets. Infrastructure has seriously restricted the development of hydrogen fuel cells, and the construction of these facilities requires the power of the government, which may not be completed only by Toyota’s personal behavior. In the use of hydrogen fuel cells, it has been proved that public transport and logistics vehicles are the best carriers. Because these vehicles are not limited by space, they can carry larger hydrogen fuel cells. In the future, hydrogen fuel cells still have their own value and will not be eliminated. Moreover, Toyota’s large-scale research is not useless, and its technology is also in the leading position in the industry.
at the same time, the research and use of lithium battery in Toyota are earlier than most of the automobile enterprises. In 2008, the battery research department was established to focus on the development of different types of batteries, including lithium batteries. In the same year, it cooperated with Panasonic to increase the technical reserve of lithium batteries. In 2009, the third-generation Prius was launched with Ni MH batteries, but Toyota also started lithium-ion battery testing with the help of the third-generation Prius. In 2012, the second-generation RAV4 EV version used lithium battery pack (from Tesla). Toyota is not a blank in lithium battery technology. It has been actively engaged in research and development, but has not broken through the key technology stage. Due to the unstable factors of lithium battery, Toyota has not put it into the market in a large area due to the unstable factors of lithium battery.
from nickel hydrogen battery to hydrogen fuel cell, lithium battery and the latest fluoride ion solid-state battery, Toyota is constantly trying to explore the possibility of diversified development of new energy vehicles on the basis of safety. Therefore, no matter how the automobile industry develops, Toyota can catch up with it and even bring about a new change with its technology.
if hydrogen fuel cells, lithium batteries and fluorine-ion solid-state batteries are only technical reserve products, then the only power battery that Toyota loves is Ni MH battery.
this has something to do with the fact that Toyota is a Japanese enterprise. As we all know, Japan is relatively short of natural resources, especially the environmental awareness is at the forefront. The advantage of Ni MH battery is that it is more environmentally friendly than lithium battery in recycling and degradation.
the main components of Ni MH battery are rare earth and nickel, both of which have high recovery value. Using water as electrolyte solution is not easy to pollute the environment and is very friendly to the environment.
secondly, Ni MH battery has good safety. Since the electrolyte of Ni MH battery is aqueous solution, it is not easy to burn in abnormal conditions such as short circuit.
although the energy storage density of Ni MH battery is lower than that of Li ion battery, hybrid technology can release energy with the help of engine, energy density is not the most important consideration, and the service life of Ni MH battery is better than that of Li ion battery. Due to the development and production of Ni MH battery products for more than 20 years, quality control and quality have been well controlled.
in the consumer report experiment of the United States, a Prius that has driven 330000 km for 10 years and a Prius that has only driven about 3200km for 10 years are compared. It is found that there is no obvious difference in battery performance indicators between the two vehicles, which proves that the attenuation of Ni MH battery is much lower than that of other types of batteries.
after several years of development of pure electric vehicles, the power battery technology based on lithium battery has been in the bottleneck period. Undeniably, the pure electric vehicle technology is not fully mature, and the power battery technology still has a long way to go. It is expected that Toyota will continue to focus on Ni MH batteries for a long time in the future.
at this stage, for example, the spontaneous combustion rate of ternary lithium batteries may be higher than that of other types of batteries, but due to the advantages of high density, good energy storage effect and low temperature resistance, we have to admit that it is also the best choice in the pure electric vehicle market.
pure electric vehicles have rapidly become the mainstream choice in the market. After more than 20 years of research, the high expectations of hybrid electric vehicles have been unable to become the mainstream. Toyota is obviously not willing to be such a fast failure. Last year, it announced that it would open its hybrid vehicle technology monopoly free of charge.
Why is Toyota, which has filed numerous lawsuits for this power system, suddenly and generously opened its technology patent for free? The purpose is very simple. With the development of pure electric vehicles, the power system can gain more market share and keep the advantages in the field of hybrid.
but everything is too late, and the development of pure electric vehicles has been unable to stop. To some extent, this situation is also Toyota’s own wrong judgment. In the early years, many car companies have been dreaming of this power system. However, Toyota is really “too stingy” and takes this system too seriously. If there is patent infringement, it will immediately resort to law, except for the “more serious” Honda Many car companies choose to bypass the hybrid field and directly develop PHEV plug-in power vehicles and pure electric vehicles.
there is no doubt that Toyota’s hybrid vehicle technology is the best in the world, but it is also an indisputable fact that the hybrid vehicle technology has lost its market advantage. If technology patents are opened in the early stage of the pure electric vehicle outbreak in 2014, today’s history of new energy vehicles may be rewritten, and the pace of pure electric vehicles may not develop as fast as today.
of course, hybrid technology is useless, and this view is obviously wrong. Hybrid technology vehicles should be the best transition product between traditional vehicles and pure electric vehicles, but pure electric vehicles are developing faster than expected. At present, there are enough new energy vehicles in the world for a long time before the driving range, charging problems and safety of new energy vehicles are not completely solved Enough new energy market to accommodate Toyota hybrid cars.
at the end of the development of power batteries, it is difficult to determine whether there will be many different types of batteries in the early stage of the popularization of new energy vehicles. However, it is certain that the Ni MH battery, which Toyota has only loved for 23 years, will not become the mainstream. Because of the high physical limit, it is very difficult for Toyota to make a physical breakthrough of Ni MH battery by itself. Before the advent of super battery, the mainstream choice of power battery market is still ternary lithium battery and lithium iron phosphate battery.
at present, there is no clear definition of super power battery. Once the latest fluorine ion battery breaks through the problem of endurance and expansion and reaches the stage of mass production, Toyota’s fluorine ion battery technology may define super battery.