The future of electric vehicle technology is the solid-state battery. Not only are solid-state batteries more efficient and more energy dense, they’re also lighter than standard lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, they’re safer, with less combustible material. The only issue with solid-state batteries at the moment is that they’re expensive. Which is why automotive companies, such as BMW and Ford, are investing heavily into developing cost-effective solid-state batteries.
BMW recently announced that it’d be investing heavily into solid-state battery tech, in an attempt to use the technology in its vehicles before the end of the decade. To help jumpstart innovation, BMW has, along with Ford, invested a combined $130 million in Solid Power, a solid-state battery start-up
“The partnerships and the capital that comes along with it are really going to put us on a good footing to execute on our road map, which simply speaking is qualifying this technology for vehicle use and getting them into vehicles in the not-too-distant future,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell.
BMW has been invested in Solid Power since 2016 and will now have an equal share with Ford, in the Denver-based start-up.
Solid-state batteries replace the liquid electrolytes of lithium-ion batteries with a solid electrolyte. This reduces weight, while adding energy density quite significantly. The removal of the highly flammable liquid electrolyte also makes them safer. Anyone who’s seen an electric car battery fire knows how important that is.
Making solid-state batteries isn’t the difficult part. Making them durable and affordable is. However, car companies that can develop solid-state batteries will have a massive leg-up over brands that can’t in the coming years, which is why the technology is well worth the investment.
BMW and Ford aren’t the only brands invested in solid-state tech, though. Volkswagen and Toyota have also invested heavily in other solid-state start-ups, as well as their own technology.
[Source: Automotive News Europe]