Solid state car batteries

Solid state car batteries

Solid state car batteries

Electric energy is making its way more and more strongly in the automotive field, however the biggest handicap found in this type of vehicle that is committed to a 100% electric source of energy is its batteries. Currently a new technology is beginning to be used by manufacturers in order to achieve more efficient batteries that can compete in autonomy with fuel-powered vehicles. These are the so-called solid state batteries.

What are Solid State Batteries and How They Work?

Solid state batteries are an evolution of lithium ion batteries. So to understand how these solid state batteries work, we must first understand how lithium ion batteries work.

All batteries are made up of combined cells, these cells in turn are made up of three fundamental parts: the anode, the cathode and the electrolyte. The electrolyte usually uses a lithium salt that contains the ions necessary to carry out the reversible chemical reaction that occurs between the cathode and the anode.

As soon as the battery is charged and any device is connected to power it, the electrical circuit of the assembly is closed. Then a chemical reaction is activated that causes ionized particles to circulate from one electrode to another and dragging the production of electrons to the battery terminals. This is the time when the battery releases energy. By subsequently connecting a charge to the terminals, the reverse chemical process occurs, thus charging the battery.

After years of use and research on lithium batteries, they have practically run out of room for improvement, which is why if you want to continue improving the results in terms of battery efficiency, you should start betting on a new technology.

Solid-state batteries are based on the same principle, but unlike lithium-ion batteries, the electrolyte in this case is solid rather than liquid. Research teams have been working on this technology for decades, testing different materials, but until very recently no one had achieved the necessary stability in batteries. Different manufacturers are experimenting with this type of solid state battery for cars and, although there is still a lot of secrecy around the materials used, they have made known the advantages that this new type of battery will bring.

Advantages Of Solid State Batteries

  • Longer useful life : Over time, lithium batteries become increasingly unstable and their performance decreases due to the solidification of the liquid inside their cells. Using a solid material instead of a liquid one eliminates these problems by solidification.
  • Shorter charging times : Ions travel faster from one electrode to another in a solid conductor. This can reduce charging time by up to 6 times compared to lithium ion batteries.
    Advantages of solid state batteries
  • Greater autonomy : The use of a solid compound allows to increase the energy density, this gives the battery a greater storage capacity. They will be able to store up to 5 times more energy. This point is perhaps the biggest advantage of the solid state battery for electric cars.
  • Greater safety : They are not prone to exploding or catching fire since the liquid used in lithium-ion batteries is eliminated, which is highly flammable. In addition, they heat up much less and do not need cooling systems.
  • More economical : Mass production of solid state batteries is assumed to be much cheaper and easier due to the use of glass as the main material.
  • Lighter : These batteries will weigh less and can store more energy.
  • More respectful with the environment : In addition to the fact that solid state batteries for electric cars contribute like the rest of these cars to reduce CO2 emissions, these batteries would practically eliminate cobalt, a very controversial raw material due to its scarcity, high price and little sustainability.

Why Haven’T They Hit The Market Yet?

The question is … If this type of solid state batteries offer so many advantages in cars, why are they not already on the market?

Solid state batteries is a new technology and therefore manufacturers are still investigating this type of battery on a large scale and at a low cost, since currently their production would be too expensive to be able to implement them in the market.

When Will Solid State Batteries Hit The Market?

When will solid state batteries hit the market?

Until recently, this type of technology was not expected for about a decade. However, a strong investment by large brands such as Toyota, BMW, Tesla, Ford, Samsung, Volkswagen, Hyundai, etc. You can make this technological revolution come much earlier than anticipated.

The development of solid state batteries is in an advanced stage and some brands are very close to their incorporation into their products. Toyota plans to be the first company to put solid-state battery electric cars on the market. The scheduled date for this is 2022 with a prototype of the brand that can be seen soon.

These vehicles are expected to have a range of more than twice the range of current electric cars powered by conventional lithium-ion batteries. This would not imply any loss of interior space even in the most compact vehicles.

Conclusion

Lithium-ion batteries are reaching their limit of efficiency and, when it comes to the automotive market, more efficient batteries are still needed to compete with cars powered by a combustion engine. Solid batteries can cause a revolution in the market due to their great number of advantages, but for this, companies must ensure that their production is profitable and viable in the markets.

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