Solid-state batteries become the lead of the power battery track
- Solid-state batteries has set off an upsurge
- Power battery energy density competition upgrade
- Large-scale application of solid-state batteries takes time
Recently, Farasis released pouch cell technology including semi-solid electrolytes in preparation for the transition to solid-state batteries. Prologium, Gotion Hi-Tech and other companies have also announced huge investment projects and research and development progress of solid-state batteries.
At present, as an important technical route to upgrade the energy density of batteries and thereby improve the performance of new vehicles, solid-state batteries have become a popular track for new energy vehicle power batteries that have attracted much attention and participation.
Solid-state batteries has set off an upsurge
Nowadays, many batteries have low energy density. A car is equipped with a large number of batteries, which occupies a lot of volume and weight of the whole vehicle, which affects the performance of new energy vehicles. Farasis said that the SPS soft pack battery solution released by their company this time uses semi-solid electrolyte, which reduces the amount of electrolyte and improves the performance of the cell, in preparation for the transition to all-solid-state batteries.
Industry experts pointed out that solid state lithium ion battery is an important direction for the research and development of next-generation power batteries, which use solid electrolytes to replace the liquid electrolytes of current commercial lithium batteries.
Solid electrolytes are generally non-flammable and therefore have higher safety. At the same time, the solid electrolyte makes the battery expected to use high-voltage electrode materials, thereby improving the energy density of the battery, thereby improving the performance of new energy vehicles such as cruising range.
Not long ago, Prologium, a solid-state lithium battery R&D and manufacturing company, said it would consider investing US$8 billion to build a factory to produce a new generation of batteries for electric vehicles. The total production capacity of the factory will reach 120GWh, and it is expected to be completed within 10 years.
It is worth noting that if each new energy vehicle is equipped with 50KWh of electricity, the 120GWh power battery can be equipped with as many as 2.4 million new energy electric vehicles.
At present, semi-solid batteries are mass-produced on a small scale, and are expected to be selected into the battery catalogue of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology by the end of the year. Gotion Hi-Tech said. The company’s semi-solid battery has an energy density of 360Wh/kg, and the battery pack of the supporting model has a power of 160KWh and a cruising range of more than 1,000 kilometers. In the future, the development of semi-solid batteries will match the needs of customers, and small batch loading will begin at the end of 2022.
In the past month, a number of companies have disclosed the latest research and development progress of solid-state batteries. Dare said that the company has started the research and development of solid-state batteries since 2018, and has achieved the research and development goals of key nodes. The all-solid-state battery development project has completed samples and is undergoing client testing.
Dawn disclosed that the company’s HNBR (hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber) products are expected to be used in solid-state battery electrolytes. There are currently successful laboratory examples. With the innovation and breakthrough of battery technology, the future development space can be expected.
Power battery energy density competition upgrade
The quality of the power battery directly determines the main performance of the new energy vehicle in terms of power, battery life and safety. Industry experts said that after years of development, China’s power battery industry has made great progress, and a number of companies with world-leading technologies and production capabilities such as CATL and BYD have emerged.
According to the data, in 2021, the energy density of China’s ternary batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries will reach an average of 280Wh/kg and 170Wh/kg, respectively. Compared with 2012, the energy density of power battery cells has increased by more than 220%, and the cost has decreased by about 85%.
The average cruising range of pure electric passenger vehicles has also increased from 253 kilometers in 2016 to more than 400 kilometers in 2021. According to the data, in the first half of 2022, 6 of the top 10 power battery installations in the world in terms of power battery installations are from China, and the 6 Chinese companies in the top 10 have a combined market share of more than 56%.
The fierce competition in the new energy vehicle industry has led to an escalating competition in the density of power batteries. In the future, China’s power battery innovation will gradually develop from battery structure innovation to material system innovation.
According to forecasts, in the next 10 years, the battery system will undergo many technological changes, and by 2035, the next-generation battery with an energy density of 500Wh/kg will be produced on a large scale. The energy density of solid-state batteries can easily reach 300 to 400Wh/kg, and the theoretical energy density can reach 700Wh/kg.
According to experts, according to different electrolytes, solid-state battery technology paths can be divided into polymers, oxides, and sulfides. The three technical routes have their own advantages and disadvantages. Japanese and Korean companies mainly focus on the sulfide route. Among Chinese enterprises, CATL, SVOLT, etc. also choose the sulfide route, while Welion, Qingtao, Ganfeng, etc. take the oxide route.
Large-scale application of solid-state batteries takes time
The higher the energy density, the more powerful the power battery. Some experts said that although solid-state battery technology can help greatly improve energy density, a rational understanding of its development process is required. In fact, some companies’ self-proclaimed solid-state batteries are actually not worthy of their name. Most of the so-called mass-produced solid-state batteries of many companies take the “semi-solid” route, only reducing part of the electrolyte.
Qingtao said that their company’s first-generation product is actually a semi-solid battery, with a liquid content of 5% to 15%, an energy density of up to 420Wh/kg, and a cost comparable to that of a liquid lithium battery. The second-generation product is in the pilot stage, the liquid content is expected to drop below 5%, the energy density will reach 400 to 500Wh/kg, and the cost is 20% lower than that of liquid lithium batteries. Mass production is expected in 2024.
According to Welion, the hybrid solid-liquid electrolyte battery developed by the company will be mounted on the NIO ET7 new car, with a single energy density of 360Wh/kg, and will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Tinci also said recently that batteries all need electrolytes, and their company’s advantage in materials lies in electrolytes, and will actively follow up related technologies for semi-solid and solid-state batteries. However, solid-state batteries still have obstacles in terms of basic performance and commercialization, and large-scale applications may take five years.
The difficulty of solid-state batteries lies in the research and development of composite electrolytes, electrode materials, and nano-scale coating processes. Many of these processes belong to the category of basic science, and cannot be solved by a single battery company, requiring the joint efforts of the entire industry chain.