Many companies believe that solid-state batteries will be a very important development in the EV industry.
BMW signed an agreement with Solid Power to start testing this technology this year.
The automaker expects to start full-scale testing in vehicles before 2025.
The push toward electrification of the automotive industry has led to the discovery and refinement of many new technologies, one of which being solid-state batteries.
Electric vehicles are currently all powered by lithium-ion batteries, but many companies believe that the next big step in increasing range, affordability, and safety will come with these new batteries sometime toward the end of the decade.
Current batteries are much better adapted to EV use than batteries used ten years ago, but there is still room for improvement.
Indeed, Lithium-ion batteries have a few shortcomings that could be addressed by the use of a solid-state design, such as their sensitivity to temperature changes, their heavy use of rare-earth minerals, and their relatively low range per kWh.
In addition, despite lithium-ion batteries being generally safe, they can create a large fire that is difficult to extinguish due to a phenomenon called “thermal runaway”. This is much less likely to happen with solid-state batteries even if they are damaged in a crash.
Solid-state batteries are also less expensive and less polluting to produce since they use much lower quantities of cobalt and graphite than the type currently used. However, these batteries can require up to 35% more lithium than regular lithium-ion units.
Many automakers are working on this new technology with the goal of introducing it before the end of the decade, with Toyota planning on a 2025 release.
BMW is among those companies since it has recently expanded its partnership with Solid Power, an American start-up that is working on its own solid-state battery technology which it will share with BMW and Ford.
The German automaker will begin small-scale tests in the first half of this year and it aims to move on to full-scale tests in prototype vehicles before 2025.
BMW says these batteries will help it reduce the cost of its EVs while at the same time giving them more range and faster charging capabilities.
Source: Auto News Europe