When will solid-state batteries come to electric cars and what will change - My Blog
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When will solid-state batteries come to electric cars and what will change

The solid state batteries are the ‘big promise’ of the future of electric cars. Why? because they promise a higher energy density to offer more autonomy, plus they will have a lower risk of fire than lithium-ion batteries. But one of the advantage The key to this type of batteries will be the charging times, that we know that with solid-state batteries they will be much shorter that nowadays. Now, when will solid-state batteries reach electric cars?

When will solid-state batteries come to electric cars?

volkswagenas an automobile group –including Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, SEAT, Cupra and Skoda- has invested $300 million in QuantumScape. This company is effectively dedicated to the development of solid state batteries and is also endorsed by Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. The goal of this company is to bring batteries into production mid-decade; that is to say, that Volkswagen should have this type of batteries around the year 2025or perhaps by the year 2026 coinciding with the arrival of its new SSP platform.

In parallel, Ford and BMW led an investment round of $130 million in SolidPower, a startup also dedicated to solid-state batteries and based in Colorado. This company intends to present its technology around the year 2027, so on dates quite similar to those that the automobile group behind Volkswagen is managing, for the moment. And also Toyota is developing this technology, although it will initially be implemented in vehicles with hybrid mechanics from the year 2025 as planned.

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and what of Toyota It is especially relevant, because the Japanese brand considers that this technology, that of solid-state batteries, is not yet ready to be used in fully electric cars. That is the reason why they plan to start with their models with hybrid mechanics, in which it is evident that the size of the battery, its energy capacity and, above all, its cost, is much lower than for a pure electric car. The big problem, in fact, is that this type of battery is still too expensive for a fully electric vehicle.

And for his part, a few weeks ago too nissan announced that they plan to release the first production model with a solid-state battery around year 2028. The intention of all manufacturers, or at least those that are most committed to this technology, is to have their first models with a solid-state battery for before the end of this decade. Obviously, it is a technological race and whoever arrives first will have their marketing campaign done.

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What advantages will solid-state batteries bring to electric cars?

The advantages of solid state batteries, applied to electric cars, will be mainly three. The first one is a higher energy density, a substantial improvement in both volumetric and gravimetric terms. This translates into batteries that, for the same volume size and weight, are capable of offering much more energy capacity than their lithium-ion equivalents. So in hybrid vehicles, which is where Toyota will start, it will mean being able to offer a much more generous autonomy in electric mode, but without having to sacrifice the weight of the vehicle or the usable space of its cars.

In the electric cars pure, the implementation of solid-state batteries will allow, effectively, to offer a superior autonomy. There are already estimates that point to more than 1,000 kilometers in equivalents to models that at the moment are around 500 kilometers of autonomy. That is, at least double the autonomy of today’s cars by simply replacing their lithium-ion batteries in favor of this new solid-state battery technology.

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Another great advantage is the security that offer this type of batteries, which have a less risk of fire than lithium ion. And of course the other big advantage is that solid-state batteries can provide shorter loading times. Already today, with solid-state batteries and taking advantage of 800 V architectures in the most technologically advanced electrical systems, powers of 350kw. However, solid-state battery technology promises go further and, in addition, with a more advanced thermal management.

What challenges are automakers facing with these batteries?

The big challenge they are facing is that they are investing huge amounts of money in the developing of this technology and, obviously, it will be necessary to amortize this type of investments. Therefore, the cost of batteries, for some time, will have to affect the vehicles that are marketed. In short, this technological evolution is not coming cheap to car manufacturers, and it will not come cheap to buyers of this type of vehicle either.

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Toyota’s decision is quite smart, in this sense, because they will start cushioning the cost overrun with the hybrids. It’s smaller batteries that they need, so their hybrid models will allow increase demand of this type of batteries, progressively adapt production and go amortizing the investment progressively. It will be, in this way, much less aggressive for buyers.

But there are also other challenges ahead, such as, for example, achieving with solid-state batteries a useful lifewhich is measured in load cycles, as wide as lithium-ion batteries or even LFP-type batteries. There are already companies that warn about this detail, such as Toyota itself, and at the moment there is little public information on the long-term reliability of this type of battery. As its adoption increases, as is evident, we will be able to have a clearer idea of ​​what the real difference is.