However, solid-state battery technology has been a difficult nut to crack. Creating a solid-state battery that is robust, and can stand up to the rigors of automotive use has proven challenging. The new batteries must also hold up to repeated charge and discharge cycles without failure if they are to serve as a reliable power source for electric vehicles. In the same vein as their lithium-ion forebearers, there are also manufacturing issues to contend with. Hundreds of gigawatt-hours of battery capacity will be needed for future EVs, so companies must figure out how to produce high-performance solid-state batteries in huge numbers while keeping costs affordable.
Thus far, we’ve seen very few examples of running, driving vehicles powered by solid-state batteries, even in prototype form. Mercedes-Benz has developed the eCitaro bus to run on solid-state cells, however caveats in their care and maintenance keep them from being truly market-ready. Outside of that, most other manufacturers are yet to show their hands. BMW is betting heavily on the technology, promising only to reveal prototypes before 2025. Meanwhile, early proponent Fisker dropped its solid-state plans entirely earlier this year.
It’s an impressive feat for the Japanese automaker, and one that bodes well for its push towards solid-state technology in future. With reports the company wishes to launch a solid-state vehicle in the early 2020s, it has its work cut out for it. Whether it can master the cutting-edge technology before its rivals will be borne out in due time.
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