Leading japanese manufacturers have teamed up with the government in a program to develop solid-state batteries

Kicking off in May, the program teams the Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center, or Libtec, with companies like Toyota Motor and Panasonic to develop the highly efficient battery. The program is aimed at returning Japanese manufacturers to the forefront of automotive battery technology, as international rivals have eroded their once dominant position in the field.

To support development, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will provide 1.6 billion yen ($14 million) in funding to Libtec, a research body whose members include Asahi Kasei and Toray Industries.

Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Panasonic and battery maker GS Yuasa will also participate in development.
Key goals of the program include improving battery performance using solid electrolytes — a tougher task than with batteries using liquid electrolytes — and establishing safety criteria for the new batteries.

Libtec hopes to develop a solid-state battery that doubles the range of electric vehicles to 800km by 2030 over the current 400km. For the time being, it is targeting a more modest range of 550km by 2025.