Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. (Idemitsu) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced today that they have entered into an agreement to work together in developing mass production technology of solid electrolytes, improving productivity and establishment a supply chain, to achieve the mass production of all-solid-state batteries for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Through this collaboration, the two companies, which lead the world* in the fields including material development relating to all-solid-state batteries, seek to ensure the successful commercialization of all-solid-state batteries in 2027-28―as announced at the Toyota Technical Workshop in June 2023―followed by full-scale mass production.
Combination of Idemitsu’s social implementation of energy one step ahead and materials and Toyota’s multi-pathway approach is promoting BEV development, which is a vital option in the move towards carbon neutrality. As for next-generation batteries which support an evolution of BEVs, Idemitsu has been working on research & development on elemental technologies for all-solid-state batteries since 2001, while Toyota started in 2006.
This collaboration focuses on sulfide solid electrolytes, which are seen as a promising material to achieve high capacity and output for BEVs. Sulfide solid electrolytes are characterized by softness and adhesiveness to other materials, which is suitable for battery mass production.
To prepare for full-scale mass production, both companies have established a task force consisting of dozens of members and will proceed the collaboration as follows:
Details of collaboration
Development of sulfide solid electrolytes and preparation for a large pilot facility
Through feedback and development support from each other on each company’s technical area, both Idemitsu and Toyota will work together on creating better sulfide solid electrolytes with attention to quality, cost, and lead times, which both companies believe will realize mass-production demonstration of sulfide solid electrolytes using an Idemitsu pilot facility.
Mass production using a large pilot facility
Through construction and startup of a large pilot facility, Idemitsu will promote sulfide solid electrolyte manufacture, and then will obtain mass production technology.
Toyota will promote development of both all-solid-state batteries which sulfide solid electrolytes are used and BEV development in which the batteries are incorporated, and then will ensure market launch of BEVs with all-solid-state batteries in 2027-28.
Study of future full-scale mass production
Based on the results of Phase 2, both companies will study of future full-scale mass production and commercialization.
Idemitsu has also been developing production technologies of lithium sulfide which is an intermediate material for solid electrolytes, using by-products which are generated in the course of petroleum refining. And through such development, it has been working on development of mass production technology on sulfide solid electrolytes, aiming to establish a stable supply system. Further, the company is steadily increasing the capacity of its small pilot facility―announced in June 2023―and is proceeding construction plan of a large pilot facility―announced in April 2022―, which will contribute to commercialization of all-solid-state batteries in 2027-28.
Through combination of both companies’ material development technologies, Idemitsu’s material manufacture technologies and Toyota’s battery processing and assembly technologies which is obtained through BEV development, both companies will aim to realize mass production of both solid electrolytes and all-solid-state batteries suitable for global widespread use. Both companies, working together across industries, will contribute to global carbon neutrality, and will lead the future with technologies created in Japan.
* Idemitsu and Toyota are world leaders in patent registration numbers relating to all-solid-state batteries and sulfide solid electrolytes.
Koji Sato, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation
I am Koji Sato of Toyota Motor Corporation. Thank you very much for coming today despite your busy schedules and the short notice.
Idemitsu Kosan and Toyota Motor Corporation have agreed to collaborate on the mass production of solid-state batteries.
Specifically, our two companies will combine their separate efforts to mass-produce new materials and establish a supply chain for solid electrolytes, which hold the key to the commercialization of solid-state batteries.
First, between 2027 and 2028, we will start to produce solid-state batteries for use in battery electric vehicles. We will then lay the foundation for mass production.
Please let me explain the background behind this collaboration.
To reemphasize our company’s stance, battery EVs are an important option in Toyota’s multi-pathway strategy.
For the next-generation batteries that will support the evolution of battery EVs, we are developing optimal solutions in line with specific applications and characteristics, including high-output and long-range batteries, as well as high-quality and affordable versions for widespread use.
And, looking ahead to the future of battery technology, we are developing solid-state batteries as an option beyond liquid batteries.
An advantage of solid-state batteries is that the electrolyte is solid. This allows ions, which convey electricity, to move faster, thus enabling shorter charging times, increased cruising ranges, and higher power output.
Solid-state batteries are also characterized by being highly stable because they are resistant to changes in temperature and can robustly endure high temperatures and high voltages.
In addition, as solid-state batteries are smaller and more powerful, they will enable battery EVs to meet a diverse range of needs, from sports cars, which require high-power performance, to commercial vehicles, which require frequent quick recharging.
On the other hand, the biggest challenge is durability.
A longstanding technical issue has been that repeatedly charging and discharging the battery causes cracks between the cathodes and anodes and the solid electrolytes, degrading battery performance.
Since 2013, our partner in working together to solve this issue has been Idemitsu, which was one of the first companies to conduct the development of elemental technologies for solid-state batteries.
One such elemental technology is a highly flexible, adhesive, and crack-resistant solid electrolyte.
Through repeated trial and error and by combining the material technologies of both companies, we have been able to develop a crack-resistant material that demonstrates high performance.
By combining this new solid electrolyte with the Toyota Group’s cathode and anode materials and battery technologies, we are now on the path toward achieving both performance and durability in solid-state batteries.
The key theme for us going forward is mass production.
First, our two companies will together address the quality and cost aspects of solid electrolytes. We will then proceed with verifying mass production by using Idemitsu’s pilot facility and establishing a stable raw material procurement scheme.
To steadily move subsequent market introduction forward, we will establish a task force of dozens of people, including those from technology, procurement, logistics, and production technology, and we will jointly promote our efforts.
We will also combine our two companies’ materials development technology, Idemitsu’s materials manufacturing technology, and Toyota’s battery mass production technology in a full-scale effort to mass-produce solid-state batteries.
For the beginning of the manufacturing phase, the important thing is the power of realization.
Idemitsu, with its corporate vision of “Shaping Change,” positions the power of realization at the center of its corporate management.
Toyota, as well, is committed above all else to embodying its vision in its vehicles as it transforms into a mobility company.
I believe that our two companies working together will multiply many times over our power of realization.
When I first met President Kito, I learned of his strong desire to “act with the will to change the future of energy.” That’s exactly how I feel.
As we have conveyed through our Toyota Mobility Concept, Toyota believes that the key to changing the future of cars is the collaboration between the automotive and energy industries.
Our two companies will unite their strengths to mass-produce solid-state batteries and to realize innovations originating in Japan.
We will create the future of mobility together.
With this at heart, we will take on challenges and hope that you will look forward to what we will achieve.
Shunichi Kito, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd.
I am Shunichi Kito of Idemitsu Kosan. Thank you so much for taking your time to join us today.
As President Sato just mentioned, it is not potential or dreams but the ability to realize them that is being put to the test.
Idemitsu will support Toyota’s ability to realize the commercialization of all-solid-state batteries for battery EVs with technological strength through manufacturing and mass-producing the solid electrolytes used in such batteries.
Our target for commercialization is 2027 or 2028.
It means that the commercialization of solid-state batteries is a thing of the future that is now within reach.
Let me explain why Idemitsu is working on solid electrolytes.
This collaboration targets sulfide-based solid electrolytes.
We are confident that sulfide-based solid electrolytes are the most promising solution for battery EV issues such as cruising range and charging times.
These electrolytes are made from sulfur components generated when manufacturing petroleum products.
They are byproducts of improving petroleum products. Idemitsu discovered the usefulness of sulfur components in the mid-1990s, and through our research and technological capabilities cultivated over many years, we have succeeded in creating a solid electrolyte.
This solid electrolyte is about to open up a new future for mobility.
Idemitsu is making every effort to implement a wide variety of materials, energy, and resource circulation solutions toward realizing a carbon-neutral society.
With our existing infrastructure and networks of service stations, refineries, and business offices throughout Japan, our initiatives are built on the knowledge and technology we have developed through our fossil fuel business.
In our Medium-term Management Plan announced last November, we presented several items for social implementation to achieve a carbon-neutral society, with initiatives for a solid electrolyte business being key among them.
While looking to the future of the global environment, we support people’s lives by stably supplying essential materials and energy.
That is Idemitsu’s mission.
The future of energy and Toyota’s multi-pathway, which considers the reality of each region and keeps Toyota close to its customers…
We share the determination and desire to lead the way toward a carbon-neutral society.
Promoting decarbonization while protecting people’s livelihoods is not something that can be achieved through the efforts of individual companies.
Toyota Motor and Idemitsu Kosan will bring our technologies together to realize the commercialization of solid-state batteries.
It is also our aim to make the technology obtained through this collaboration a global standard.
This will demonstrate to the world the high level of Japan’s technological capabilities.
Changing the future of cars also means changing the future of energy.
Changing the future of energy and mobility can greatly contribute to protecting the global environment and realizing a sustainable society.
With this belief and determination, we will move forward.
I believe that this collaboration is our first step toward giving shape to change together with like-minded colleagues.
Please look forward to Toyota and Idemitsu taking on this challenge.