This solid-state battery technology is still years away from becoming commercial-Solid Power plans to produce enough material for 800,000 cars annually by 2028 પરંતુ but if it proves practical, batteries could significantly increase the performance of electric vehicles.
However, Solid Power will not build and sell full batteries in the future. Instead, it will provide solid electrolyte materials to other battery manufacturers, says CEO Doug Campbell.
The electrolyte is charged inside the shuttle battery as it is charging or releasing power. In lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles today, the electrolyte is liquid; Solid-state batteries use a solid layer of electrolyte that is squeezed between the other layers of the battery to charge.
This approach opens up new options for battery chemistry. In particular, lithium metal and silicon-based chemistry are unstable or unsafe when combined with a liquid electrolyte in a cell, but can be used in theory if a solid is exchanged instead.
The result will be a battery that can pack more energy into a smaller space – meaning the car can go farther before the charge runs out. Campbell says a solid-powered battery could eventually improve the energy density of a lithium-ion battery by about half, so a vehicle that went 350 miles before it needed to be recharged could extend its range by more than 500 miles.
Campbell adds that ditching the fluid will also make it easier to build safe cells. While lithium-ion batteries are engineered with protection to ensure they do not catch fire or explode, removing liquids will eliminate the need for these expensive additives. Battery packs, which are made up of many cells at once, may be more dense, as their internal temperature controls and safety systems will require less space.
The idea of taking liquid electrolytes from battery cells is not new, says Lei Cheng, a chemist and battery researcher in the materials division of the Argonne National Laboratory. Over the years, however, most research on solid batteries has focused on the use of organic polymers such as polyethylene oxide.