Solid-state batteries have emerged as a promising advancement that could potentially revolutionize the electric vehicle industry, making EVs even cleaner and more sustainable than they are today.
What is pushing this innovation are the many drawbacks to lithium-ion batteries in EVs today: limited energy storage, fire safety concerns, short lifespans, and a challenging carbon footprint due to the mining of lithium and other heavy metals all have prompted researchers to explore alternatives.
Solid-state batteries address many of these issues by replacing the liquid electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries with a solid electrolyte. This cuts the risk of fires, and allows for more storage.
Solid-state batteries have a lower carbon footprint while providing longer lifespans, so they’re a more durable and sustainable EV option. Emagazine.com reported that solid-state batteries use fewer materials, and could reduce climate impacts by 39% compared to lithium-ion batteries, according to Scott Gorman at the Centre for Process Innovation.
Our climate would significantly benefit from a move to solid-state batteries, especially because EV sales are skyrocketing, as the cars (and lithium-ion batteries) get cheaper.
So far, Toyota is one of the leaders in the race to develop solid-state batteries. After discovering a “technological breakthrough” in June, they said this month they were accelerating development to launch solid-state EV batteries with 10-minute fast charging and a 750-mile range. But they are still a few years away.
Volkswagen, Hyundai, Nissan, and Honda are also developing their own solid-state batteries.
In Taiwan, the startup ProLogium has already ramped up its “giga-scale” solid state battery factory for delivery to electric vehicle manufacturers this year, with plans for a second factory in France.
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Other companies—Schaeffler (which works with Honda), SolidEnergy Systems, QuantumScape, Solid Power, Sila Nanotechnologies, Albemarle and Ilika—are dedicated exclusively to developing solid state batteries that can be mass produced inexpensively.
Many other advancements in solid-state batteries documented over at CleanTechnica, make us believe that some day soon EVs will have the safest, greenest batteries possible under the hood.
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