19 - 22 June 2024

Hottest Trends in Solid-State Battery Technology and Innovation

• There has been continuous development in the field of batteries since their invention in the 1800s.

• The latest technology, "Solid-state batteries", is gaining popularity rapidly as it is replacing the traditional lithium-ion batteries which have the downsides due to safety, energy density and length of service life.

• Despite increased safety potential, higher energy density, faster charging time and more, solid state batteries still have many challenges to overcome.

Here are some of the key features that make solid-state batteries the shining star especially in the electric vehicle industry.

Increased safety. Solid-state batteries will replace the liquid or gel electrolyte found in traditional lithium-ion batteries with a solid electrolyte. Without liquid components or flammable materials, the risks of leaks, fire or explosion are reduced and safety is improved which is important in the automotive industry.

 

Higher energy density. Solid-state batteries have the potential to achieve higher energy densities compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, more energy can be stored in the same or smaller size, allowing EVs to drive further without increasing the size or weight of the battery.

 

Faster charging time. Solid-state batteries can support faster charging rates compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. This reduces charging times and improves the overall convenience for EV drivers.

 

Longer service life. Solid-state batteries are expected to last longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries. This is due to the reduced deterioration of the electrode material and improved solid electrolyte stability. This means that EVs equipped with solid-state batteries may have lower long-term maintenance costs.

 

Temperature tolerance. Solid-state batteries generally have a wider operating temperature range compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. This makes it suitable for use in remote areas or harsh environments where temperatures can fluctuate greatly.

 

Less impact on the environment. Solid-state batteries may use less or no cobalt, which is a material that has raised environmental and ethical concerns due to mining practices and human rights issues. Solid-state batteries are also easier to recycle compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries, thus reducing the impact on the environment.

With all these advantages, solid-state battery technology and innovation are critical to the wide adoption of EVs as governments around the world are attempting stricter regulations on carbon emission. Also, consumers demand cleaner and more sustainable transportation options. Consequently, automakers and battery manufacturers are investing heavily in developing solid-state battery technology to improve the performance, safety, and sustainability of EVs.

At present, almost all major European carmakers are turning to batteries instead of fossil fuels as they struggle to meet 2035 EU regulations by phasing out the ICE cars. Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen are now using standard lithium batteries, but are also investing an exorbitant sum into research and development of solid-state batteries. Similarly, Toyota announced in October last year that it was planning to put solid-state batteries in a number of its new vehicles by 2027, aiming for a distance of 1,000 km from 80% of DC fast charging at EV charging stations in 10 minutes or less. As of December 2023, a Chinese EV maker NIO announced it was also joining in the race for solid-state innovation, saying that it was developing a 150 kilowatt hours "Semi-solid state battery" which in theory can run a distance of 1,000 km.

At any rate, the universal adoption of solid-state batteries in the electric vehicle industry is expected to be a gradual process. This is because this new technology still faces several obstacles such as engineering validation, cost competitiveness, the ability to scale its production, and how to achieve high energy density at competitive prices.

Bob Galyen, the owner of Galyen Energy and former CTO of Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), said: “Solid-state battery is a great technology, but it will be similar to lithium-ion battery in terms of the time it takes to get to market, and lithium-ion took a long time to reach that point.”

Currently, the Taiwan-based ProLogium Technology is now the world's only mass producer of solid-state batteries. It continues to inspire global battery innovation towards a sustainable and fully electric future. The mass production at their new facility in France is expected to commence in 2027.

Interesting stories about battery innovation and the electric vehicle industry like this are updated regularly on our blogs, so stay tuned and don't miss Automotive Manufacturing 2024, ASEAN’s number one technology exhibition for the complete production of automotive parts during 19-22 June 2024 at BITEC, Bangkok to catch up on the latest technology and industry knowledge regarding automotive industry.

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