Back in December 2020, Toyota announced that it will launch its “game-changing” solid-state battery in 2021. However, due to the combined effect of the pandemic and semiconductor shortage on Toyota and the industry as a whole, the tech is unable to materialize yet.
Toyota in 2020 had also revealed the world’s first prototype electric vehicle (based on the LQ concept) that ran only on solid-state batteries. Despite challenges, Nikkei Asia reported that Toyota is still on track to become the first automaker in the world to sell a vehicle equipped with this technology.
Related: Toyota will be a Leader in Solid-State Battery Tech- Report
A solid-state battery is basically a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries. Toyota and Panasonic are working together on solid-state batteries after they set up a joint venture in 2020. Toyota plans to install its first solid-state battery in a hybrid due to being launched in the next few years.
But now a Chinese automaker Baoya has outpaced Toyota to reveal the first electric sedan that utilizes a solid-state battery. Baoya (宝雅) is a brand under FAW Jilin·Shandong Baoya Automobile, which is a joint venture between FAW-Jilin and Shandong Baoya New Energy Automobile. The FB77 (ChiJet is the English name) is the first vehicle under the Baoya brand, the mass production of which will begin later this year.
Although trial production began in July 2021, the project got delayed due to the pandemic. Styled by Italian design house Pininfarina, the Baoya FB77 ChiJet boasts a solid-state battery that is developed and manufactured by Shandong Baoya New Energy Automobile and can achieve the car 600 kilometers of drive range, according to the company.
The solid-state battery technology will ensure higher safety, higher energy density, longer battery life, and better charging cycle performance. The FB77 is based on the ‘Dolphin’ platform, which is developed in-house as well. The car will also get L2 autonomous driving capabilities.
About its future plans, the company revealed that its Dolphin platform will underpin the FB77, an SUV, and an MPV. The wheelbase of this platform ranges from 2,700 to 2,950 mm. Baoya will then launch a series of cars on a new A00-class platform, with a wheelbase ranging from 1,800 to 2,150 mm. These cars will include a small four-seat SUV, and two- and four-door minicars.
Related: Geely to Launch a New NEV Brand Called ‘Milky Way’
Baoya is yet another addition to an endless list of automakers emerging in China, but with its in-house solid-state battery technology, Baoya will surely be the one to watch.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com