Those Big Bets on Solid-State Batteries—The Payoff is Getting Closer

Excerpt from electronicdesign.com

The advantages of solid-state batteries versus lithium-ions to power EVs are clear, but designing the solid electrolyte has proven difficult. However, many companies and institutions are quickly making headway toward solutions.

Automotive companies expect that electric vehicles (EVs) will become mainstream in the years to come, replacing internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles. For this to happen, an EV must have a similar level of mileage as the current ICE vehicles, which means increasing EV battery capacity.

There are two ways to boost capacity. The first is to increase the number of batteries, but then the battery cost per vehicle goes up and batteries would take up too much space in the vehicle. The alternative is to move to a solid-state battery from the current lithium-ion batteries, where during battery charging and discharging, electrically charged particles (or ions) of lithium pass from one electrode to the other through a liquid electrolyte.

Solid-state batteries offer significant potential advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries. A solid-state battery promises to be lighter, have more energy density (simply put, the higher the density, the higher the power output), recharge faster, and be more stable in extreme temperatures. Materials proposed for use as solid electrolytes in solid-state batteries include ceramics (e.g., oxides, sulfides, phosphates) and solid polymers.