Toyota may come out with a game-changing electric car for 2022

2014 Toyota Corolla S back logo
The twin issues of short ranges and long charging times are still a major obstacle for electric cars. But a solution to those problems may be on the way, according to a new report, and it will come from an unlikely source. Toyota plans to launch a “long-range” electric car that can recharge in just a few minutes in 2022, according to Reuters, which cites Japanese newspaper Chunichi Shimbum. Toyota has long promoted hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over cars powered by batteries. But if this reported electric car goes on sale, Toyota could be catapulted to the head of the field.

The key to the car’s performance will be solid-state batteries. These batteries use a solid electrolyte, as opposed to the liquid used in the lithium-ion batteries that power all modern electric cars, not to mention your laptop. Unlike the liquid electrolyte, the solid material isn’t flammable. Proponents of solid-state batteries also claim they will perform better than other chemistries, although the technology has not been commercialized yet.

The Toyota electric car will ride on an all-new platform, and will be sold only in Japan initially, the report said. A Toyota spokeswoman would not confirm plans for the car, but told Reuters the automaker does plan to commercialize solid-state battery technology by the early 2020s.

A mass-market electric car would represent a major strategy shift for Toyota. The company was one of the strongest proponents of hydrogen fuel-cell cars, claiming battery-electric cars would never have the range to satisfy consumers, and that fuel-cell cars’ quick refueling times gave them a decisive advantage.

But Toyota has had trouble developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure for its Mirai. Along with the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, the car is only sold in California, because that is the only state with a sufficient number of fueling stations. An effort to build fueling stations on the East Coast has stalled, according to Bloomberg.

Late last year, reports circulated that Toyota would unveil an electric car in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and that CEO Akio Toyoda was leading the development team. But an electric car powered by solid-state batteries is an even more ambitious target, and could give Toyota an advantage over its more-established competitors. That is, if solid-state battery tech lives up to the hype.

Emerging Tech

Exploding vape pen battery starts fire on SkyWest flight

A vape pen battery caused a fire in an overhead bin on a SkyWest Airlines flight on Wednesday. It's the latest in a string of incidents where faulty or poorly made lithium-ion batteries have caused gadgets to catch fire.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Emerging Tech

Own a drone? New rule means you have to change the way IDs are displayed

Registered drone owners will need to put their machine's ID number on the outside of the aircraft from February 23 in accordance with a new FAA rule. It means the ID can no longer be placed inside the drone's battery compartment.
Smart Home

Review board says Dyson should cease unsubstantiated vacuum claims

The National Advertising Review Board recommended Dyson make three changes to claims about suction power, running time, and battery technology for its V8 cordless vacuums. Dyson agreed to the recommendations.
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.