Toyota is Stepping Up Its Electric Car Game

There are rumors that Toyota will be looking to build long-range, fast-charging electric cars. This isn’t really news given that every automaker on the planet is investing in low- and zero-emissions vehicles, but Toyota’s new strategy is interesting for two reasons.

One is that they are looking for solid-state batteries to maximize range and reduce charging time. If they succeed, it will be a big step forward for electric cars given that it feels like an eternity to charge current EVs. New and improved solid-state batteries would also allow Toyota to catch up to the competition—Tesla, GM, and Renault-Nissan.

That’s the second reason this story is interesting. Toyota has invested millions in fuel-cell vehicles that gas up with liquid hydrogen and neglected electric cars. They rolled out the Toyota Mirai FCV in California in 2015, but the futuristic vehicle was stymied by a lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. It looks like the automaker might be hedging their bets on the future of green vehicles. It’s a smart move given that electric cars are on fire right now while hydrogen fuel cells are dead in the water.