Just ahead of Toyota’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, where pushback over its strategies on climate change was widely expected, the company released a cache of information about electric vehicle technologies and timelines.
Included in the download was more information about batteries and battery chemistries than it had previously revealed—including solid-state batteries arriving in a mass-production model as soon as 2027, perhaps bringing more than 500 miles of EPA range, based on inflated CTLC estimates.
Toyota e-axle allowing improved EV packaging
But batteries aside, Toyota touted several other technology pieces that will help make its EVs better in the future—including a downsized e-axle for EVs that it says was “cultivated through the development of HEVs (hybrids).” Toyota demonstrated how the e-axle assembly, which would include the motor, reduction gear, and inverter, can reduce the height and the frontal area of the vehicle—thus aiding efficiency and adding range.
The company also noted technology it’s developing with supplier Denso that incorporates silicon carbide wafers for 50% less power loss—boosting efficiency by 10%.
Toyota EV concept for 2026
And in aerodynamics, the company promises to take advantage of boundary layer control knowledge—from the hypersonic aerodynamic work of rockets—to “reduce aerodynamic drag without being restricted by the shape of the car.”
That said, the next-generation battery electric vehicle due by 2026 that Toyota has teased looks like it aims for maximum wind-tunnel aerodynamics in a traditional sense—with a kammback profile, low ground clearance, and a roofline that follows a long arc. That appears to be an entirely separate project than the three-row electric SUV due to be built in the U.S. starting in 2025.
Toyota Crown EV, from Toyota tech update June 2023
With that all several years in the future, Toyota introduced an EV that appears to be on the way soon: a Toyota Crown EV that the automaker introduced as a fun-to-drive EV created “to meet the diverse needs of our customers.” Expect more about this model, including potential U.S. availability, soon.