Toyota Motor Corp. said it was nearing a major technological breakthrough in electric-car batteries. [...] The technology, a solid electrolyte, would enable smaller, lighter lithium-ion batteries, which theoretically could hold a higher charge—boosting the range of electric vehicles, according to the company.
These so-called solid-state batteries replace the damp electrolyte solution in current batteries with a solid. That allows for an improvement in shelf life compared with current batteries on the market, which degrade over time. They also are designed to avoid the fire hazard sometimes posed by current lithium-ion batteries.
This battery tech seems better in almost every way.
The announcement comes as Toyota shifts focus to building all-electric vehicles after years of asserting their inferiority to gas-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cells.
I understand companies hedging their bets, but this is the same Toyota that was going all-in on hydrogen fuel cells a few months ago.