Solid-State Batteries: A Game Changer In EV Ecosystem

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Undoubtedly, range anxiety and fast charging of electric cars have always been on the hit list for many OEMs for a decade. The scientists thus trying their niche to meet the beatable battery for electric and hybrid vehicles which can satisfy both consumers and manufacturers. One such technological progression is on the solid-state batteries for the EV ecosystem.

Technology Walk-Through

Unlike lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries do away in accommodating the liquid electrolyte in the batteries. And that makes solid-state batteries lighter and much safer at the higher temperature, unlike lithium-ion batteries. Over time, compounds in the liquid electrolyte can corrode internal battery components and can experience degradation or solid material (dendrites) build up inside. However solid-state concept isn’t a fresher but totally a ball game in the automotive industry. A significant criterion for battery cells is energy density. It is found that solid electrolytes could ramp up the gravimetric energy density (watt-hours/kg)  by 40% and volumetric energy density (watt-hours/Litres) by 70%.

Li-ion V/S Solid-state Battery; Courtesy: Toyota/Bloomberg

 Trends around the globe.

Recent research at the School of Material Science and Engineering in Georgia shows that traditional solid electrolytes can go up to 1000 degrees C. The team at this institute is also working to develop certain electrolytes with the lower melting point. And it is reported to allow automotive batteries with 100% solid-state inflammable ceramic rather than traditional liquid electrolytes.

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Toyota scientists, on another end, published their paper about the tests on sulfide superionic solid-state batteries for vehicles. And results are dynamic. It shows the splendid charging compatibility in seven minutes and could be operated at supercapacitors level, which makes it a holy invention for electric vehicles.

Another promising state-of-the-art technology is being studied at Harvard. The materials for solid electrolytes have always been the main challenge. The researchers here are working on the development of multilayer electrolyte material with different stabilities sandwiched together between anode and cathode.

Today to Tomorrow; Courtesy: Solvay

For many years solid-state batteries have been used in pacemakers, wearables, and RFID. Its low space footprint, higher energy density, larger charging cycles, two-to-ten times capacity, and faster charging make it a future player for future e-vehicles. It is also been studied that its application again needs no monitoring systems, or any cooling environment compared to lithium-ion batteries.

“Researchers at PNNL developed a novel electrolyte for vehicle batteries that successfully creates a protective layer around electrodes—so they won’t corrode—achieving significantly increased charge/discharge cycles”.

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Toyota, a Japanese automotive giant shall roll out its unbeatable solid-state battery by 2021. And foresees the range of 500 miles on a single charge and complete charging time of 10 mins with all the concerning safety parameters. It is expected to get introduced with the solid-state battery-powered car in Tokyo Olympics. It has also been heard that OEMs like BMW and Ford may enter the workspace and has announced to invest around 100 million dollars on this giant elephant. And BMW is likely to switch into the deployment of solid-state batteries by the fiscal year 2022.

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Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) decided to remove the lithium metal anodes used in solid-state batteries and and replace them with the silver-carbon layer”, by renowned ev magazine

Another giant OEM has spilled out its plan to develop its own solid-state battery that will power a non-simulation vehicle by 2028. Another player in auto society, Volkswagen, has united with a California-based start-up named QuantumScape and is working together to develop the same concept by 2024.

S&P’s report points out that companies such as Solid Power are already producing solid-state batteries for EVs while at the same time having advanced silicon, all-solid-state battery to production lines in Colorado.”

All In All

Despite their (solid-state battery) benefits over liquids, solid electrolytes present difficulties in finding the right balance of materials to deliver enough demand to power an electric motor for a car. Its durability and finding the right ionic stability for solid-state batteries are the key hurdles. Nobody has yet managed to transit from a small-size prototype to the mass production of solid-state technology batteries for EVs. Analyst predicts the heavy adoption of this notion by end of the decade.

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