New solid-state batteries are less than 5 years away
With the introduction of the electric car, intense research began to find batteries that were capable of storing more energy, recharging earlier, being safer and cheaper. Which is easy to say but very difficult to achieve.
Today the prevailing batteries are lithium-ion batteries, which have allowed the enormous development of all portable electronic devices and the first electric cars, but which remain limited for the new needs posed by electric cars and the supply of energy
Batteries are needed with greater charge storage per kg., with recharging times of a few minutes, that are safe and do not burn accidentally, and that are cheaper than the current ones.
Today’s lithium-ion batteries have a liquid electrolyte interior. The cathode (positive electrode) is made of a lithium material and the anode (negative electrode) is made of graphite.
The new batteries have a solid electrolyte (that’s why they are called solid state) and the cathode is made of lithium, and they have a charge storage capacity several times higher than the current ones.
There are some working prototypes, but nobody talks much about their actual results, because the future battery business is huge and nobody wants to give the competition any clues about the state of their product development.
There are many projects and companies around the world working in this field and everything seems to indicate that in a few years (perhaps less than five) we will see real and viable projects on the market to start manufacturing this new type of batteries.
All the big automotive companies (Toyota, GM, VolksWagen, etc…) are working on their own or in collaboration with others on new solid-state battery projects, and so are many other start-ups around the world.
In the USA, the company ONE (Our Next Energy) has placed one of its new batteries in a Tesla model and has managed to increase its autonomy to more than 700 miles, which is more than 1,100 kilometers. Which is proof that indicates to potential investors that within the company there is something that is worth their effort.
Because what all these start-ups are looking for is financing to complete their developments and make them industrial in an economical way. And that financing can be given by a larger company or an investment group.
The immediate business is so big that money is not lacking, but not everyone is going to be successful.
What I am clear about is that in a few years there will be batteries with higher charging capacities, which will be charged in a few minutes, which will be safer, and with prices that will start out high and will rapidly decline.
And the question that arises for me is: What will automotive companies do with customers to whom they have sold cars with less efficient batteries?
Will they make interesting offers so that they can change the lithium-ion battery in their cars for a better solid-state one at a reasonable price?
Your opinions are welcome.