Solid-state batteries are a type of lithium-ion battery that use a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid one. Currently, the technology is emerging and may someday become the standard for powering electric vehicles.
The Benefits of Solid-State Batteries
There are several benefits that solid-state batteries may offer over traditional lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EVs):
Higher energy density
Solid-state batteries have the potential to have a higher energy density than traditional lithium-ion batteries, which means they can store more energy in the same amount of space. This could lead to longer driving ranges for EVs.
Solid-state batteries can be charged more quickly than traditional lithium-ion batteries because the solid electrolyte conducts ions more efficiently.
Solid-state batteries are less likely to catch fire or explode than traditional lithium-ion batteries because the solid electrolyte is less flammable than the liquid electrolyte used in traditional batteries.
Solid-state batteries are more tolerant to the temperature change, which makes them more suitable for use in EVs.
Lighter and smaller
Solid-state batteries are also thinner, which means they could be made into different shapes and sizes than traditional lithium-ion batteries and so can be packed in a more compact way, which means they could make EVs lighter and smaller.
It is important to note that solid-state batteries are still in the early stages of development and much more research and development is needed to bring them to the mass market. That said, several manufacturers are currently developing solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, including:
Toyota Motor Corporation
The Japanese automaker announced in 2017 that it had developed a solid-state battery with a longer driving range and faster charging time than traditional lithium-ion batteries. The company aims to have a solid-state battery EV on the market by the early 2020s. As of this writing, the technology is still pending.
The German automaker announced in 2018 that it was investing heavily in solid-state battery technology and aims to have solid-state battery EVs on the market by 2025.
The American Electric Automotive company founded by the designer Henrik Fisker, initially intended to use solid-state batteries in their upcoming Ocean SUV. They claim a driving range of over 300 miles and 0-60mph acceleration in less than 2.5 seconds. Later, though, the company dropped those plans, citing the difficulties in producing the technology.
In 2019, the German automaker announced that it is investing in solid-state battery technology and expects to have a solid-state battery EV on the market by 2027.
The Chinese electric vehicle company announced that its solid-state battery will be integrated into its production vehicles by 2023. But the company is touting them as technology of the 2030s.
It is worth noting that development and mass production of solid-state batteries is still in early stage and many of the mentioned companies and their claims are subject to change. In any case, the technology is promising and may revolutionize electric vehicles to help them become lighter, less costly, and thus widely available to mainstream shoppers. At its current pace, we don’t expect that solid-state batteries will be ready before 2030 at the earliest.
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O’Kane, S. (2021, February 26). Fisker Inc. has ‘completely dropped’ solid-state batteries. The Verge. Retrieved January 12, 2023
Winton, N. (2021, November 30). Solid-state batteries promise electric car popularity boost, but Technical Mountains await. Forbes. Retrieved January 12, 2023
See Also — What Are Solid-State Batteries?
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