news – May 2021
Solid Power | A Primer
A potentially revolutionary new technology for car batteries.
SOLID POWER HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS recently thanks to a partnership with BMW and Ford motor companies, who are interested in Solid Power’s solid-state batteries (ASSB) that replace the liquid electrolyte in a conventional lithium-ion battery with a highly stable solid ion-conducting material.
That’s a mouthful, yes?
Let’s break it down in bite-size morsels so it doesn’t sound so intimidating.
The main difference between the batteries is that today’s lithium-ion batteries use a liquid electrolytic solution to regulate flow, whereas the new solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte. The electrolyte is the conductive chemical mixture that allows flow of the current between the anode and cathode (+ / -).
Using a solid electrolyte provides for a smaller size battery with higher energy density, longer life span and increased safety. Solid-state batteries theoretically could store twice as much energy as a lithium-ion battery. For example, if the battery of a Tesla Roadster were replaced with a solid-state battery, it could help double its range.
Solid-state represents a viable path to enabling stable cycling of lithium batteries capable of delivering high cycle life and high power. There are still details to work out before Solid Power demonstrates consistent production and the long-term viability of their product, but with BMW and Ford joining their board of directors and investing in the company, the future looks bright.
More on solid-state batteries as the technology develops.