Toyota/Panasonic Prismatic Li-Ion Partnership

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] A new Prismatic with higher energy and power density is probably just around the corner. Solid State as well?

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Dec. 14, 2017

    Toyota/Panasonic prismatic battery collaboration agreement announcement.​

    The collaboration agreement between Toyota and Panasonic aims to reduce greenhouse and internal combustion emissions which contribute to global warming, air pollution, the depletion of natural resources and energy security. This agreement is intended to address growing demand and expectations for electrified vehicles. To realize the objectives, Toyota and Panasonic target future advancements in automotive batteries, which are crucial for electrified vehicles.

    Since Toyota and Panasonic began their business relationship in 1953, the two company’s goals of mutual improvement in honing their manufacturing capabilities (monozukuri) has continued unabated. With the automotive business undergoing drastic change, both companies have realized the importance of collaboration and looking past conventional boundaries to contribute to the world through monozukuri.

    Through activities including introducing the Prius in 1997 and the Mirai FCV in 2014, Toyota has a record of risk taking to create a sustainable mobility society. Leveraging the know-how and experience accumulated through the continuous refinement and commercialization of its electrification technologies, Toyota is working on the development of a full range of environmentally friendly vehicles including HVs, PHEVs, FCVs, and EVs for the future.

    Panasonic has positioned its automotive Li-Ion batteries as a key business that are in use by numerous automakers worldwide. Panasonic's efforts to enhance the safety and capacity of its automotive prismatic batteries and making use of its accumulated technological knowledge in the battery business will continue.

    Toyota and Panasonic recognize the importance that further advancements in battery performance, price and safety, as well as a stable supply capacity, will encouraging the purchase of future electrified vehicles. Both companies will consider details of the collaboration with the aim of achieving the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and, ultimately, contributing to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles.
    BillLin likes this.
  2. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Sea Change

    From the Panasonic "jefe" , .. I get the feeling he's saying:

    We will soon be switching from cylindrical (Tesla) to Prismatic (Toyota), ... we very well may have solid state worked out now, but we are in no hurry to introduce that.

    Like all electronic tech over the past 30+ years. Whatever you buy today will be completely out of date in 5 years time...... and that's the way we?/they? like it.

    From Toyota, .. sounds like Tesla opened the "performance floodgates" and has forced Toyota to jump with both feet into the electric pool.
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  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Toyota seems to love these battery company partnerships. Their last one was a big mistake IMO. They get their batteries wholesale but then the technology changes and they're married to the old technology. Toyota is still foisting those heavy, completely obsolete NiMH batteries on their customers. Tesla is in the same spot. Ford doesn't get into battery partnerships expressly because they want to be able to move to the latest greatest as it develops. Staying nimble is a better strategy, I think.

    I'd be driving a Prius C if not for those awful NiMH batteries. So their partnership cost them at least one sale.
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  4. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    Your opinions seem fact-challenged to me.

    1) Their last (and ongoing) partnership with Panasonic (Primearth EV Energy) resulted in over 2.8 million hybrid vehicles being introduced in the U.S. between 1999 and 2014 at a price point well below any Lithium based battery technology. 1.5 million of these have been one of the most reliable vehicles produced across any type of propulsion system. Global sales of Toyota hybrids have been over 10 million units since 1997. The vast majority of which are NiMH based. If Toyota hadn't produced nearly 20 years of NiMH based batteries, we would have millions less hybrids on the road globally. Lithium in any form is still substantially more expensive than NiMH.

    The success of the NiMH batteries in the Toyota hybrids refutes your "those awful NiMH batteries" assertion or that it was a mistake. You can armchair quarterback all you like and nitpick details, but the numbers say the NiMH based hybrids have been an undeniable success.

    2) Tesla is not in the same spot. Can you say giga? Can you say 2170? Teslsa does what is best for Tesla.

    3) Ford doesn't get into battery partnerships to stay nimble? Maybe not, but then why did they use Sanyo "D" cells for 8 years solid? Because they were cheaper than any other option.
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  5. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    That was a bit harsh, but I won't try to second guess what else is going on.

    I tend to agree that given the volumes and success of the Prius program, that it was the right choice. Toyota cannot be a major car manufacturer and allow poor financial planning to otherwise cloud a thriving endeavor. Cost matters. It's the old “We lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume”... Hmmm, isn't there an electrified vehicle out there with that kind of financials?

    Jay, I hear you re: the current new cars still being sold that use the older technology. Someone (at Toyota) is doing cost benefit analysis across the entire Prius line and optimizing for greater profits. The higher volume hatchback model undoubtedly nets Toyota greater profits. Those remaining cars using NiMH will change or disappear when it stops being profitable.
  6. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Keith, lithium-ion batteries are superior to NiMH in every way (except cost kwh). They have about 3x the energy density, they have much less leakage current, they have better hot and cold temp performance, they have longer battery life, etc. I could go on but I don't need to. Toyota, themselves, kicked NiMH to the curb in favor of Lithium-ion for their plug-in Prius. That just underlines that when performance really counts, you can't cheap out with NiMH. Those batteries had their day but the problem with Toyota is that they continue to use them when they are completely obsolete. Toyota was still using NiMH with no option for even an upgrade when all their HEV competitors were using Li-Ion. The situation is different now. Competition has forced them away from NiMH in most of their vehicles.

    My point is that Toyota's customers could have had much better batteries (Li-Ion) much sooner if Toyota hadn't bought into the NiMH partnership. I feel this new partnership will end the same way.
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  7. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    First, if you could go on, please do. I think you've pretty much exhausted the list, and you have one part incorrect. Nickel cells have substantially higher charge/discharge ratings than even the best Lithium in terms of capacity. Toyota NiMH cells can charge at 90A, discharge at 150A and are very overcharge tolerant. Any comparably sized Lithium cell on the market would explode under those currents. Lithium must compensate by paralleling multiple cells in order to distribute current across many cells. Additionally, you will NEVER see a Nickel battery burn a car down.

    Toyota kicked NiMH to the curb on the Prime because they had no choice. They used large factor NiMH in 2002 on the RAV4 EV with great success (battery life tested to 300,000 miles). Unfortunately they were sued for patent infringement by Ovonics/Texaco/Chevron/whoeverthehelltheyarenow - the folks that held the original NiMH large factor patents for the EV1. You will almost never find me claiming a conspiracy theory, but large factor NiMH development was shut down in the Interest of big oil. Large factor NiMH was ready for use over a decade ahead of Lithium.

    Lithium is absolutely, positively the best choice for high power density, but when a hybrid only needs usable battery capacity equivalent to a single medium 12V battery, Lithium becomes a VERY costly option, and it doesn't get you anything for that additional cost. As time progresses, that will change as Lithium continues to improve and with economies of scale, but there's a reason the Prius C still uses NiMH - all cost and no benefit by going with Lithium.
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  8. SI_Prius

    SI_Prius Well-Known Member

    I think it's quite simple, if you don't intend to make PHEV then it doesn't really matter if it's lion or NiMh, the only benefit of Li-ion in that kind of application is lower mass and nothing else. Longivity is well proven in NiMh, MPG is not that much diferent with Li-Ion, safety is on the side of NiMh...

    That said, I do hope Toyota will eventually make every hybrid a plug-in, it can have a really small range but if they make it at a cost of normal hybrid, then you have a winner.
    - subsidies and tax brakes in many countries
    - lower CO2 emissions for meeting those hard to reach targets with conventional drivetrain
    - owner can charge it or not, car price was the same

    That kind of hybrid would really learn the masses about EVs and charging them and it would prepare the mass market for next step - pure EV.
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