Honda, Nissan and Toyota all have said that solid state batteries are part of their EV plans
Solid state batteries are safer than lithium batteries and they have larger capacities
Honda will begin selling EVs by using General Motors’ Ultium platform
Japanese automakers are far behind their American and European counterparts in terms of electrification since Toyota, Subaru and Mazda have only just introduced their first electric vehicle, Nissan is now adding a second electric model to its lineup and Honda and Mitsubishi have yet to launch any EV.
The reason behind this reluctance to invest into electric vehicle development is that these companies are waiting for solid state battery technology to improve and become a viable option in mainstream vehicles.
These batteries offer a greater capacity than regular lithium-ion battery cells and they don’t suffer from as much losses in the winter, due to chemistries that are not as affected by the cold.
In addition, solid state batteries are safer than lithium-ion batteries, which can sometimes catch fire, with devastating results.
Japanese car makers don’t want to invest in a technology that will become obsolete in only a few years, when solid state cells will replace the current lithium-based ones, since electrification represents a commitment of many billions of dollars.
On the other hand, car companies cannot wait for much longer without introducing electric vehicles to their fleet because they will end up too far behind other who have jumped on electrification some years ago already, and they risk consumers turning their nose at them due to their perceived indifference towards climate change.
Honda will avoid this problem by building electric vehicles in collaboration with General Motors. The Japanese company will design and develop the vehicles in their entirety, except for the chassis and powertrain, for which it will use GM’s new Ultium platform, seen under the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV.
This will allow Honda to sell electric cars in the near future, without sinking too much money in a technology they see as only a stop-gap.