Imagine having an electric car battery that provides more than 300 miles of range, requires no bulky heating and cooling systems, charges in approximately ten minutes, maintains 80 percent of its charge capacity for 800 cycles, which is about 240,000 miles, and it’s not prone to spontaneous combustion. It’s a promise of the new solid-state car battery, which is considered the holy grail that manufacturers and automakers are racing to find. Now, Toyota announced that it would have a running prototype with this type of battery ready by 2021.
Toyota’s New Solid-State Battery Implementation
The implications of this new technology should be considered. Charge times and range are the biggest barriers to EV adoption. While a ten-minute charge is still quite longer than it takes to fill a gas tank with fuel, it’s a lot better than having to make lunch plans while the vehicle recharges. It’s a fast-charging compact battery that could be the EV equivalent of the electric starter because it will allow battery-powered electric vehicles to conquer internal-combustion power once and for all.
Toyota is not the only company in this race. It’s not the only company making headlines, either. Recently, a California company called QuantumScape announced great and promising test results for its solid-state battery. The announcement that Toyota made about its upcoming Euro-market electric SUV included the note that they planned on having solid-state battery technology in their production of vehicles by 2025.
A Solid-State Partnership!
Toyota, which has a great partnership with Panasonic, currently has more than a thousand patents that cover solid-state batteries. However, Nissan is working on its solid-state battery. It claims that it will appear in a “non-simulation” vehicle by 2028. Toyota currently does not offer any vehicle that runs on battery in the United States and hasn’t offered one since the 2012-2014 RAV4 EV. However, they are about to launch an update of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai.
The race to develop a solid-state battery for electric vehicles is on, and if Toyota plans to manufacture a running prototype in 2021, we will be looking at the prevailing automotive technology of the future at some point next year.
Our lives can feel pretty cluttered with the number of devices we carry around, but soon one thing will be a thing of the past, the car key. Apple announced recently that it is working on making its iPhones capable of opening and starting your car.
A Digital Key Solution
While unlocking a car with a phone app isn’t an entirely new idea, Apple is teaming up with BMW to make people’s lives easier. The digital key solution is coming to users of iOS 13 and will be included in the updated iOS14. For now, the only car this feature will work with is the 2021 BMW 5-series, but more vehicles are expected to be added.
The digital key will be stored in Apple’s Wallet app, and access to the key can be shared with up to five different people. The access will be shared using the iMessage app, with full or restricted-access options available. The restricted access feature can limit the speed a driver can go, reduce the horsepower available, and even restrict the radio volume. It’s an ideal solution when the car is being shared with teenagers.
Running Out of Battery
You might fear getting stranded if your phone runs out of battery, but that won’t be the case. Even if you run out of battery, the key function will work on a special reserve for up to five hours after the phone turns itself off. You can also turn off the function using iCloud if your phone goes missing or is stolen. The feature is expected to be rolled out in July for those Apple customers who also drive a BMW.
You won’t have to fumble around looking for your car key any longer, instead, you can just whip out your phone. Apple and BMW are teaming up, but the tech giant is hoping to work with other car manufacturers in the future.