Solid-State Batteries Could Power Electric Vehicle Breakthrough
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    Solid-State Batteries Could Power Electric Vehicle Breakthrough

    Move over lithium-ion batteries, solid-state technology is on the way. It looks to spur massive growth in electric vehicle acceptance.

    The heavy weight and limited energy density of lithium-ion batteries contribute to the range anxiety that hampers public acceptance of electric vehicles.But solid-state batteries will increase energy storage without adding weight or bulk. That will extend the range of electric vehicles. They also eliminate the flammability issues that are inherent in lithium-ion batteries.Electric Vehicle Battery technology

    Researchers say a solid-state battery pack could give electric vehicles 500- to 1,000 miles of range on a single charge. Automakers today struggle to reach 300 miles.The technology is advancing rapidly and could be ready for commercial use within a few years. That's the assessment of a report from ABI Research, a New York-based advanced technologies research firm.

    Solid-state technology could grow the global number of electric vehicles from 8 million last year to 100 million by 2028, the report said.

    The batteries provide many benefits, the researchers said. They include greater longevity, reliability and more energy density. The batteries are lighter and have less bulk than lithium-ion batteries. And they eliminate the fire risk posed by lithium-ion batteries' flammable liquid electrolyte by replacing it with a solid material.The Fremont, Calif., company has bet heavily on lithium-ion technology. It is working on new lithium-ion chemistry with Dalhousie University in Canada. Tesla said the new technology offers the energy density of solid-state batteries while maintaining the same format as today's lithium-ion cells.

    That allows the current manufacturing equipment to make the batteries, enabling them to reach the market sooner than solid-state batteries.Getting electron ions to flow freely through the solid electrolyte has been the major stumbling block solid-state battery developers have been working to eliminate.

    Ford, Toyota, Daimler, Volkswagen, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in solid-state battery research and development. All build commercial trucks as well as passenger cars and light trucks.

    BMW and start-up luxury EV maker Fisker Inc. also are working on solid-state, as are several Chinese EV companies.

    Automakers are investing in several U.S.-based solid-state battery development companies, including Kentucky-based Solid Power and Ionic Materials of Massachusetts. Earlier this year, Volkswagen invested $100 million in QuantumScape, a Massachusetts-based solid-state battery developer.

    Toyota has pursued solid-state battery development for years. It has a technology-sharing agreement with Suzuki, Subaru and Mazda. The automaker also has a joint-development pact with Nissan, Honda, battery maker Panasonic and the Japanese government.

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