bZ4X: This is Toyota’s new electric car – and it will soon arrive in Norway

This article was first published in Finansavisen Motor.

Norwegians are crazy about electric cars, but insidious weather and low temperatures are around the corner again. When the opportunity arises, Toyota chief technology officer Masahiko Maeda is asked a timely question about just this:

BETS SOLID: Toyota Technology Manager, Masahiko Maeda. Photo: Toyota

– When can we expect to see the new electric car bZ4X for sale in Norway, and how will it cope with the Norwegian climate?

– Toyota bZ4X will be launched next year. Exactly when it will be I will not specify. Our battery technology has a number of functions that ensure optimal operation in all types of weather conditions, says Maeda.

Toyota is preparing to sell eight million electrified vehicles by 2030. Two million of them will consist of battery-powered electric cars and cars with hydrogen fuel cells. In other words, it is a while before Toyota imagines that everyone is going for all-electric alternatives, but that it is going at full speed towards an electric future, the Japanese can hardly deny.

BLUE LIGHT: Not everyone likes the sight of blue light when they are out driving, but Toyota still seems to take the chance that it goes well down in the center console.  Photo: Toyota

BLUE LIGHT: Not everyone likes the sight of blue light when they are out driving, but Toyota still seems to take the chance that it goes well down in the center console. Photo: Toyota

Long life

During a recent presentation, the central theme was the development of new batteries, which according to Maeda is about customers being able to use them in a worry-free way. He points out how Toyota aims to balance five factors, stated as safety, longevity, high quality, affordable high quality products, and high performance.

See also  Toyota Mirai has a new record in the range of hydrogen. She drove almost 1,360 km to the reservoir

As an example of something Toyota thinks customers are tempted by, he points out that the long life of the battery will lead to a higher value in use of the car it is mounted in. But the world’s car manufacturers are facing a divide, which could potentially undermine the value of all electric cars. sold today.

HALF FUN: For many, driving a car is a joy, and an exciting interior can contribute to that.  The steering wheel of the concept car seems to have been halved, but hopefully it does not go beyond the driving rules.  Photo: Toyota

HALF FUN: For many, driving a car is a joy, and an exciting interior can contribute to that. The steering wheel of the concept car seems to have been halved, but hopefully it does not go beyond the driving rules. Photo: Toyota

Without holes

Today’s batteries contain the rare metal cobalt, and depend on lithium and an anode of graphite or silicon exchanging ions through a liquid called electrolyte. This means, among other things, that the battery cells themselves expand physically during charging, and are affected by factors such as high or low temperatures.

The next generation of batteries, called solid-state, should be able to do without having to dig deep holes in the ground for metals that are becoming less and less. And the reason they are called solid-state is that the liquid, or electrolyte, is replaced with a solid that is not affected by temperature fluctuations and does not change size during charging.

MORE AS USUAL: The rear seats look decent enough, and are about as expected on a Toyota SUV.  Photo: Toyota

MORE AS USUAL: The rear seats look decent enough, and are about as expected on a Toyota SUV. Photo: Toyota

Separation

Toyota shows a car that is a bit reminiscent of the candy balls the children used to buy at the amusement park, where different layers were revealed as everything became more sticky. The design is controversial to say the least, but the interesting component is under the shell. According to Toyota, this is their first model equipped with a solid-state battery, and they point out that they have also had it registered in Japan.

See also  Megan Fox melts Instagram and conquers the networks with spectacular photos of her revealing dress

It sounds promising, but then they openly say that there is still a long way to go. The main problem is that by replacing the electrolyte liquid with a solid material, separation can occur between it and the anode. In plain text, this means that the ions have problems moving, which means that the battery is unable to charge or discharge power.

Tough: The design is tough, and reminds a lot of the half-brother Lexus, which will probably come with an electric version on the same frame eventually.  Photo: Toyota

Tough: The design is tough, and reminds a lot of the half-brother Lexus, which will probably come with an electric version on the same frame eventually. Photo: Toyota

The Chinese on the field

It is clear that they are investing heavily in this technology, even though they are developing hydrogen fuel cells and conventional batteries in parallel, both for plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars. By 2030, they plan to invest $ 13.6 billion, and reduce battery costs per car by 50 percent.

Chinese BYD recently unveiled the Tang model here in Norway, and it was equipped with something they called a “Blade” battery without cobalt. China has several large car manufacturers who want to enter the market with aggressive pricing and a lot of equipment. If they also take the lead with the next generation of batteries, it will be exciting to see if Toyota manages to keep up.

.