Hardware

Many major automakers are interested in solid state batteries

Solid-state electrolyte, in contrast to liquid electrolyte in modern lithium batteries, should make it possible to reduce the charging time of batteries and increase their capacity, while eliminating problems with operation at low temperatures and the tendency to ignite in case of mechanical damage. Almost all major car manufacturers are interested in creating batteries of this type.

Image source: Toyota Motor

Image source: Toyota Motor

As noted Reuters, Toyota Corporation claims to be the leader in the development of batteries with solid state electrolyte. They should make it possible to create electric vehicles with a power reserve of up to 1000 km, which can be fully charged in a couple of tens of minutes. The prototypes of new batteries existing in laboratories, as representatives of the Japanese corporation note, upset developers with a limited service life, and cracks appear on the case from constant expansion and contraction. By some estimates, solid-state batteries would now be eight times more expensive to mass produce than traditional liquid-state lithium batteries.

In addition to Toyota, other major automakers are showing interest in the topic. Volkswagen is supporting QuantumScape, which expects to provide the German automaker with solid-state batteries by 2024. At the same time, the Taiwanese company Foxconn, which is still better known as a contract manufacturer of electronic devices, expects to launch the production of such batteries. Rivian and Fisker have attempted to develop batteries with solid-state electrolyte, so the issue is relevant not only for industry giants.

Volkswagen expects to use the new batteries to increase the range of electric vehicles by 30%, and to reduce the charging time to 80% of the capacity to 12 minutes. The Stellantis Alliance is conducting similar developments through a joint venture between Automotive Cells and the Chinese company CATL. The fruits of joint activities in the form of batteries with solid-state electrolyte should be registered in the alliance’s electric vehicles by 2026.

Ford and BMW have invested in a young developer Solid Power, which promises to create solid-state batteries that will increase the charge storage density by 50% over existing ones. By mid-decade, Ford also expects to reduce battery production costs by 40%.

Korean giant Hyundai Motor, which is heavily betting on hydrogen fuel, hopes to gain access to solid-state battery technology by 2030 through a partnership with SolidEnergy Systems. The Samsung SDI company carries out specialized developments on its own. Tesla, a pioneer in the industry, has yet to express its stance on solid-state batteries, with ongoing efforts focused on improving the efficiency of traditional liquid-state lithium batteries and reducing nickel and cobalt in electrodes.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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