Toyota and Panasonic lead the way in solid-state battery patents

It is not yet clear which company will win the race to introduce solid-state batteries into mass-produced cars


An editor at eMobilCar

  • 2 min read

Toyota and research partner Panasonic currently lead the way in patents related to this technology.

Together with the Tokyo-based research firm Patent Consult Nikkei, patent applications for solid-state battery technology in ten countries and territories filed from 2000 to the end of March 2022 were studied.

The clear leader is Toyota with 1331 known patents, followed by Panasonic with 445 patents. In comparison, Idemitsu Kosan, ranked third, owns 272 patents according to the report.

It's worth noting that patents are a good way to judge R&D, but they're not a good indicator of how far a company has progressed in bringing a particular technology into production. Many other automakers and battery suppliers are also investing in solid-state battery research, lured by claims of greater energy density.

According to Nikkei, Toyota began researching solid-state batteries in the 1990s. The company partnered with Panasonic to jointly develop the technology in 2019. Shortly before this, Panasonic had stated that solid state cells would not arrive until 2028 or later. Panasonic is of course also a longtime business partner of Tesla.

Toyota has confirmed at several points that the technology is under development and is slated for a production model around the middle of the decade. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the first application would be a hybrid rather than an electric car.

Other automakers, including Honda, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen, have been discussing the use of solid state batteries in vehicles. But so far the only practical application has been in another type of vehicle. Solid state cells are already installed in city buses in Germany, but they require very specific conditions, such as high temperatures, which are not suitable for passenger cars.

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