Automobile

Who is starting and promoting the battle for solid-state batteries?

With the mass production delivery of the Weilai ET7 equipped with solid-state batteries, a new change is brewing in the power battery industry.

On December 18, NIO held “NIO Day 2021” at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center. In addition to announcing the official debut of ET5 and opening pre-sales, NIO founder, chairman and CEO Li Bin also revealed the latest developments of ET7.

The order will be locked on January 20, 2022, and delivery will start on March 28.Weilai ET7 | Source:  Weilai official websiteWeilai ET7 | Source: Weilai official website.

One year ago, ET7 officially debuted on “NIO Day 2020”, positioning the medium and large electric flagship sedan.

However, what is most anticipated and concerned by the outside world is that the ET7 is equipped with a solid-state battery with an energy density of up to 360Wh/kg. More than 1000 kilometers.

The reason why solid-state batteries have caused heated debate is that there is a view that solid-state batteries will become the ultimate form of new energy vehicle power batteries, and also an important watershed and technical commanding height in the power battery industry.

“The day when solid-state batteries become popular is the withdrawal of fuel vehicles. At the time of the historical stage”.

In fact, solid-state batteries are nothing new. As early as 2011, Toyota stated that it will launch solid-state batteries from 2015 to 2020.

It believes that solid-state batteries will fully compensate for the cruising range of new energy vehicles, while also vigorously promoting the popularization of new energy vehicles. However, to this day, solid-state batteries have not yet been formally used.

Are solid-state batteries a marketing gimmick or a disruptive technology? Whether ET7 can give the answer to this question is still unknown.

Are solid-state batteries a marketing gimmick or a disruptive technology? Whether ET7 can give the answer to this question is still unknown.

Solid-state battery outlet is coming: the power battery industry urgently needs a breakthrough.

The traditional way of loading lithium batteries is to assemble the battery cells into modules, and the modules into battery packs, and then install them on the car chassis.

The dual assembly not only increases the material cost, but also increases the total weight of the battery, and the problem that this causes is that it is difficult to further increase the energy density of the battery pack.

However, an industry consensus is that the energy density of lithium-ion batteries is also close to the limit, and it is difficult to exceed 300Wh/kg.

Even if silicon-based alloys are introduced into the negative electrode, it is difficult to break the upper limit of 400Wh/kg

Currently, LG New Energy’s ternary lithium battery has an energy density of 161Wh/kg, while BYD’s blade battery has an energy density of only 140Wh/kg.

Compared with lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries have three advantages. First of all, the core advantage of solid-state batteries is high safety.

The thermal decomposition temperature of liquid electrolyte and the melting temperature of the separator are below 160℃, while the thermal decomposition temperature of solid electrolyte exceeds 500℃.

The solid electrolyte is used to replace the liquid electrolyte, and there is almost no fire and combustion.

Secondly, the electrochemical window of the solid electrolyte is above 5V, which is much higher than the existing 4.3V, which can be adapted to higher active and high specific energy positive and negative materials, and significantly increase the energy density of the battery.

Theoretically, The energy density of solid-state batteries is expected to exceed 500Wh/kg; finally, there is almost no consumption of lithium ions during the charging and discharging of solid-state batteries,

which can keep the capacity of solid-state batteries stable for a long period of time, greatly improving the cycle life.

Although solid-state batteries are superior to lithium-ion batteries in all aspects, the development of solid-state batteries is not accomplished overnight.

According to News Websites in South Africa the liquid electrolyte content, the development path of solid-state batteries can be divided into liquid, semi-solid, quasi-solid, and all-solid.

In short, this is a process of gradually replacing the liquid electrolyte of a lithium-ion battery with a solid electrolyte.

At this stage, it is still an industry problem to find a solid electrolyte that can balance costs and have high stability. It will take time to mass-produce and install solid-state batteries that use solid-state electrolytes.

“Solid-state batteries to be mass-produced in 2022 are semi-solid batteries to be precise, or liquid.” Li Bin once explained on the second day after the official debut of ET7.

He said that mass production of all-solid-state batteries is still far away. The reason is that the current market demand for solid-state batteries is very low.

For example, at the expense of cost for endurance, users and car companies will not pay if other technologies are feasible.

Although the mass production and loading of solid-state batteries may seem remote, the clarion call for the position war has actually sounded.

A source in the new energy industry told DoNews (ID: ilovedonews) that many power battery companies and car manufacturers have laid out solid-state battery tracks all over the world.

A source in the new energy industry told DoNews (ID: ilovedonews) that many power battery companies and car manufacturers have laid out solid-state battery tracks all over the world.

The next 5-10 years will be the first opportunity for the development of the new energy industry.”

It is worth mentioning that Japan attaches great importance to the R&D and commercialization of solid-state batteries.

As early as 2018, Japan’s New Energy Industry Technology Comprehensive Development Agency began the research and development of all-solid-state batteries.

Participants included 23 companies and 15 universities in the fields of automobiles, batteries and materials.

According to the agency’s estimates, by 2025, commercial solid-state batteries will account for 1% of the market.

Start a stall battle: solid-state batteries become the core of competition.

Solid-state batteries have become an internationally recognized technical direction for the next generation of new energy vehicle power batteries.

According to the above-mentioned industry sources, the current players on the solid-state battery track are mainly divided into two categories:

one is automobile companies represented by Toyota and SAIC; the second is power battery companies represented by CATL and Samsung SDI.

The unsatisfactory cruising range is currently one of the shortcomings of new energy vehicles, and it also severely restricts the penetration and replacement of fuel vehicles by new energy vehicles. R&D efforts.

In June 2020, Volkswagen added another US$200 million in investment. The common goal of both parties is To achieve mass production of all-solid-state batteries by 2025.

In 2016, General Motors participated in the Series B financing of SolidEnergy Systems, a US battery startup company.

In April 2021, SolidEnergy Systems completed a US$139 million Series D financing, led by General Motors, SAIC, Geely, and Hyundai Motor Wait for the follow-up vote.

Subsequently, General Motors announced plans to launch samples of automotive-grade solid-state battery A next year, and officially start commercial mass production in 2025,

while Hyundai Motor stated on the earnings call that the company has been developing solid-state batteries and plans to start in 2030 Mass production of new energy vehicles using solid-state batteries.

In addition to participating in the investment in Solid Energy Systems, Hyundai Motor also invested US$20 million in solid-state battery company Solid Power with Samsung SDI in 2018.

In April 2019, Solid Power announced that it had obtained a B investment led by Ford Motor and Samsung SDI. In this round of financing, in October 2021,

Solid Power once again received US$30 million invested by South Korean battery manufacturer SKI for the joint production of automotive-grade solid-state batteries.

A more obvious trend is that, after 2021, major auto companies will invest more intensively in the field of solid-state batteries.

The BMW Group announced a 139 million US dollar investment in Solid Power in May 2021, and will launch prototype vehicles using solid-state batteries before 2025, and achieve mass production of new energy vehicles using solid-state batteries before 2030.

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