Toyota Looks at Making Cars Outside Japan as Yen Causes ‘Difficult Time’

Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest carmaker, may expand production outside Japan as the yen’s gains on currency markets reduce earnings.“We are struggling,” Chief Financial Officer Satoshi Ozawa said today in an interview at the automaker’s factory in Ovar, Portugal. “We are facing a difficult time. We have to reduce our production costs to compensate for the currency situation,” and that may involve shifting manufacturing from the home market of Japan “to some extent.”The euro’s decline since April to a decade low against the yen this month is reducing export earnings at the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker and competitors.

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Toyota debuts 4-layer All-solid-state Battery

Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a prototype of its all-solid-state battery Nov 18, 2010, in Japan. It is a laminated cell measuring about 10 x 10cm.

Four sets of positive electrode layers, solid electrolyte layers and negative electrode layers are laminated, and the average voltage of the cell is 14.4V (3.6V x 4). Because Toyota exhibited the cell right after it was charged, it output a voltage of 16.26V (4.065V per layer).

The positive electrode, negative electrode and solid electrolyte of the prototyped cell are made by using lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2), graphite and sulfide, respectively.

Toyota is actively engaged in the development of all-solid-state batteries and lithium-air batteries as next-generation batteries. Especially, when an all-solid-state battery is in an ideal state, its lithium spreads faster than electrolyte, making it theoretically possible to realize a high output power.

Read the rest of the story: Toyota Announces 4-layer All-solid-state Battery.