According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, Toyota is planning to have 60GWh of lithium ion battery capacity by end-2025. This is enough battery cells to make just over 1 million electric vehicles (EV) with an average pack size of 55kWh.
Although the plan is in its early stages, it is a step change for Toyota which has been criticized in the past for not taking lithium ion EVs seriously enough, and instead favouring fuel cell technology.
While this does not necessarily mark departure from fuel cells, it is a major boost for its EV plans and finally puts some data behind its Panasonic Corp joint venture, confirmed in February 2020, and its BYD partnership that was revealed in November 2019.
Benchmark anticipates that the majority of the 60GWh battery cells are to come from both of these partnerships.
Toyota’s relationship with Panasonic will be especially play a key role taking capacity to 60GWh for the world’s largest automaker.
Two plants in Japan – Kasai and Himeji – together with the newer Dalian cell plant in China are all central to Toyota’s new pure EV direction.
Toyota’s battery numbers in context
Today, at 60GWh Toyota would sit behind only LG Chem and CATL in terms of global capacity. In fact, 60GWh represented just under 50% of the world’s total EV demand in 2019.
However, looking out to 2025 Toyota’s plans are modest compared with the battery industry’s leaders — current plans in the pipeline would give LG Chem 209 GWh of capacity and CATL 280 GWh according to data from Benchmark’s Lithium ion Battery Database.
But this capacity target would put it ahead of both Volkswagen and PSA’s battery megafactory plans, which both have 16GWh of capacity in the pipeline for 2025.
Benchmarkestimates the raw material requirements for Toyota’s 60GWh capacity to equate to approximately 14,000 tonnes of cobalt, 52,200 of lithium, 40,200 tonnes of nickel and 72,000 tonnes of graphite.