Electric go (EV) battery start up Solid power Has completed the installation of its pilot production line for solid-state battery cells.
Solid state battery technology is being worked on extensively and is seen as a potential game-changer because, compared to the popular lithium-ion or lithium iron phosphate chemistry, it could theoretically provide a wider range, less mass and faster charging.
Dubbed ‘EV cell pilot line‘, This production setup is designed to produce sulfide-based solid-state battery cells “EV-scale” – meaning, high-scale.
The US-based start-up already has existing partnerships with BMW and Ford and was initially funded by Hyundai among other investors. It was established in 2011.
Solid Power intends to build its solid-state battery cells for internal testing first, before expanding the cells to BMW and Ford for a “fitness test” by the end of 2022.
This pilot solid-state battery production line is designed to mimic lithium-ion production established to “reduce commercial risk.”
At full capacity, the pilot production line is expected to be able to produce 300 cells per week or about 15,000 cells per year.
Solid Power says its “silicon EV cells” are designed for “long-range, low-cost and safe electric vehicles.”
The initial design consists of 40 two-sided cathode and 41 anodes. There are also more than 50 activated silicon per anode which is said to increase the energy concentration.
EV battery start-up indicates that its silicon EV cells have a target gravimetric power density of 390Wh / kg. For the context, the current Chinese-built Tesla Model 3 with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries has a gravitational energy density of 125Wh / kg.
Solid Power Silicon EV Cells also have a claimed minimum charge time of 15 minutes and can be recharged more than 1000 times before decommissioning.
Solid Power expects to be able to optimize its silicon EV cells for power from 60 to 100 Ah.
“Solid Power is encouraged to take this next step in its automated competency roadmap,” said CEO Doug Campbell.
“Installation of this EV cell pilot line will allow us to create suitable EV-scale cells to initiate the formal automation qualification process.
“In the coming quarters, we will work to bring the EV cell pilot line to its full operational capacity and look forward to delivering EV-scale all-solid-state cells to our partners later this year.”
Solid Power is not the only company getting ready to make solid-state batteries, other suppliers and automakers are also working.
Nissan recently unveiled its prototype solid-state battery production facility at a research center in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
The Japanese automaker is leading the development of solid-state batteries for its alliance partners – Renault and Nissan – and plans to launch an EV with its proprietary all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) in 2028.
Toyota also said it has been testing solid-set batteries since 2020 and plans to launch their first hybrid vehicle before rolling out in the upcoming EV.
It states that a short service life with solid-state batteries is the primary concern, and therefore continues to develop solid electrolyte substances. Cold-temperature performance is also an issue.
Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz announced in late 2021 that they had jumped on the solid-state battery train and signed a joint venture with US-based Factory Energy to make solid-state batteries for their vehicles.
The companies aim to launch their “first competitive solid-state battery technology” by 2026.
Hyundai and Kia have partnered with Factory Energy to test its solid-state batteries in their EVs.
In December 2020, Volkswagen-backed company QuantumScape announced that it would have its solid-state batteries ready for production by 2024, while GM’s battery development center in Warren, Michigan, would make solid-state batteries among other battery types, including silicon. .
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