On the subject of the much-talked-about electric Toyota GR car, Nakajima said reducing the height of traction batteries carried in the floorpan of BEV models will be “the breakthrough” needed to build lower, sleeker and more interesting electric cars.
He said a lower battery height was “the key to success” for the dynamic and desirable saloons and sports cars Toyota wants to build in the future, because it would promote aerodynamic shapes, reduce frontal area and allow ‘more emotional’ designs.
Better aerodynamics, working in tandem with Toyota’s recently announced solid-state battery technology, would make delivering a 1000km-plus battery touring range seem “not so special”.
Nakajima added: “If we also downsize major components like a car’s air-conditioning system, we can lower the cowl height and get a very good Cd value. We can realise a 1000km [620-mile] range, easily.”
Currently, Toyota and other BEV manufacturers work to a 150mm battery height, which suits the current BEV crossover and SUV models because there’s enough space to accommodate a bulky battery.