Solid Power Looking to Create Advanced Solid State Batteries

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【Summary】Colorado-based company Solid Power is looking to create the next generation of batteries, which will ditch traditional liquid in favor of ones that use a solid ion-conducting material.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 16, 2017 10:00 AM PT
Solid Power Looking to Create Advanced Solid State Batteries

As the automotive industry moves towards electric vehicles with autonomous capabilities, battery suppliers and manufacturers are looking for ways to make batteries better. By creating a power source that can hold more juice, requires less time to charge, and doesn't degrade as quickly, electric vehicles can outperform their gasoline-powered alternatives and help automakers meet strict emissions and fuel economy standards. 

Companies, though, are still looking towards lithium-ion batteries as the answer. Samsung, for instance, revealed its new "2170" battery cell earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. By utilizing new technology, the battery cell is expected to provide electric vehicles with a range of roughly 310.7 miles on just a 20-minute charge, which brings the battery level up to approximately 80 percent. 

New Company Aims To Be A Leader

According to a report by The Denver Channel, a new Colorado-based company is looking to create more efficient batteries for the next generation of EVs. Solid Power, which as the outlet claims, got its humble start at the University of Colorado, is looking into developing solid state rechargeable batteries that utilize a solid ion-conducting material instead of the traditional liquid that's found in lithium-ion batteries. 

As The Denver Channel claims, co-founder and CEO Doug Campbell stated that a big advantage of solid state batteries has to deal with their energy density, which refers to how much punch a battery can hold against another one that's similarly sized. According to Campbell, solid state batteries can generate somewhere between 150 to 200 percent more energy than similarly sized lithium-ion batteries. That means more range on a single charge. 

"Your vehicle would essentially have twice the range," Campbell said. In addition to having more range, The Denver Channel reports that Campbell believes safety would be improved as well. "There are lot of safety concerns for lithium-ion," he said. 

The Numerous Upsides To Solid State Batteries

As the outlet points out, lithium-ion batteries can be volatile and explode if damaged or overheated. The downsides of lithium-ion batteries can be seen with the issues Samsung has had with the Galaxy Note 7. 

According to the report, solid state batteries have a solid material on the inside of them that's more stable and less flammable than lithium-ion batteries. Campbell told the outlet that testing revealed that solid state batteries can take a lot of abuse without becoming a safety risk. 

The high-tech batteries, while having numerous upsides, won't be on the road anytime in the near future. Campbell told the outlet that Solid Power is working with various automakers to fit the batteries to electric vehicles within the next five to 10 years. 

While that seems like a long ways away, automakers are moving towards having only electric vehicles in their lineup, which Campbell sees as a large area of opportunity for the company. "The impact is just huge," Campbell said. "The emergence of companies like Solid Power could change that [tech] landscape here in Colorado." 

Better, more powerful batteries are a necessity for an all-electric future, as current lithium-ion batteries still can't compete with gasoline-powered vehicles as far as range is concerned. 

via: The Denver Channel

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