BMW recently announced the launch of a new research and development center for batteries near its HQ in Munich but it looks like the plans of the Bavarians include joining their expertise in the field with other notable names. This Monday, Solid Power announced that they will be entering a joint venture with BMW to research and develop solid state battery tech for the carmaker’s future models.
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Solid state batteries are an improvement over the current lithium-ion versions and replace the usual liquid or gel found inside them, with a solid, conductive material. According to experts in the industry, this allows engineers to offer more energy density while also improving charging times and safety. As you might’ve already learned, when a lithium-ion battery malfunctions or is caught up in a fire, putting it out demands special measures from firefighters and sometimes they can still be burning days later.
BMW and Solid Power didn’t release a joint press release yet or a figure regarding the amount of money that will be invested in the US-based company but it is only a matter of time until we learn all about the deal. Since 2012, Solid Power has been researching solid-state batteries, in an effort to cut down the manufacturing costs of EVs by adopting this new technology. Furthermore, the drop of lithium-ion batteries means certain costly safety measure don’t have to be used anymore, thus dropping the cost of building an EV even more.
More and more manufacturers are looking into this technology these days. Toyota has announced plans to use solid state batteries in its EVs starting with 2020, considering this move a ‘game changer’. Continental is planning an investment into the field as well, according to Automotive News.