Carmakers’ Solid-State Battery Bet Benefits Long-range EVs

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • Solid-state battery development varies by automaker
  • Cell energy density can increase by 45% with solid-state

The promise of energy dense and safe solid-state batteries has attracted investments in the technology from a range of automakers, but development approaches differ.

Volkswagen AG has invested in QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup. Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor opted for in-house development. Chinese automaker BAIC Motor has introduced a prototype electric vehicle model equipped with solid-state batteries by partnering with QingTao Energy Development Co.

The energy density of a solid-state cell could be 45% higher than a cell of the same chemistry using liquid electrolyte. The use of non-flammable solid electrolytes means that these cells will also be safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

The batteries are expected to be used in premium long-range electric vehicles first, given the possibly high cost of initial mass production resulting from the supply chain bottleneck. These cars are less sensitive to price but can benefit from the high energy density and improved safety.

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