Toyota won't share solid-state battery tech with partner Mazda

The two will keep working together on just about everything else related to EVs, though.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

Mazda and Toyota might have teamed up to develop electric cars , but Toyota might keep some of its biggest secrets to itself.

Toyota has what it considers a breakthrough in solid-state battery technology, and it won't share that development with Mazda and Denso, Automotive News Europe reports, citing an interview with Toyota's head of safety tech.

The three companies have teamed up for the very-Japanese-sounding EV Common Architecture Spirit. This partnership sees all three members working together to develop a common vehicle platform for future EVs that will be shared across both automakers' lineups. The architecture is allegedly capable of handling both common lithium ion batteries, as well as Toyota's new solid-state tech, so keeping that tech in-house shouldn't affect the overall partnership.

Toyota And Mazda Announce Electric Vehicle Partnership
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Toyota And Mazda Announce Electric Vehicle Partnership

While it might seem a little selfish, Toyota does need to maintain some advantage over its competitors, even ones it's partnering with.

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

According to earlier reports, Toyota's first solid-state-battery EV won't arrive until 2022. While that would put Toyota behind the curve in terms of EV rollouts, the technology could provide Toyota with enough benefits that could put it ahead of its competitors.

Instead of using a liquid electrolyte, as current lithium ion batteries do, Toyota's solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte. This can improve energy density, reduce the chance of overheating and, most importantly, drop quick-charge times down to a matter of minutes. Right now, the tech is too expensive to shove into any current car, but Toyota hopes it will be affordable at the beginning of the next decade.

Mazda and Toyota's partnership will come to the US by way of a $1.6 billion joint-venture plant. While the location is still unknown, this new factory could create up to 4,000 jobs and should be up and running as soon as 2021. The factory won't build this new EV, but rather existing models -- the Corolla for Toyota, and a new crossover model for Mazda.

The two automakers have also teamed up to develop the latest generation of Toyota's Entune infotainment system. First appearing on the 2018 Camry, the system will initially surface in a Mazda when the new Mazda3 debuts in the near future. It's capable of over-the-air updates thanks to a new Wi-Fi hotspot with a built-in cellular antenna.

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