Will Solid State Batteries Replace Their Ion-Lithium Counterpart in EVs?
Tesla’s “Gigafactory” is currently being built in Nevada. The plant will produce the company’s ion-lithium batteries. The question is, are ion-lithium propelled EVs becoming antiquated? A certain car builder in Bavaria thinks so.
In 2020, 100 percent electric BMW Minis and X3s will be on the market. This year the company has sold 75,000 EVs. Beamer hopes to double that number in the coming year.
The electrified Mini and X3 may be powered by solid-state batteries. Why make a switch from lithium to solid state? Remember the spontaneously combusting Teslas?
Lithium-ion batteries can overheat creating a “thermal runaway”. When this occurs, an electrolyte can ignite creating a short in the battery and subsequent fire. That is the theory as to the cause of the Tesla fires.
From a fire risk standpoint, solid state batteries are safer. SSBs can reach higher temperatures before thermal runaways become a concern. Add a simpler design to a greater charge capacity and the sum is cheaper operating costs and more miles per receptacle.
Tesla founder Elon Musk pointed out when it comes to new technology, you have to make it work in the real world. Still, in their incunabulum, solid state batteries for cars have yet to be proven viable.
SolidEnergy is working on doing just that. The company found that a fully solid battery has conductivity problems. To solve this SolidEnergy’s batteries use both solid and liquid electrolytes. If BMW and SolidEnergy can make solid state batteries work it will change the EV industry.