In race for better batteries, Japan hopes to extend its lead

As their name implies, solid-state batteries use solid rather than liquid materials as an electrolyte.

Because they do not leak or give off flammable vapor, as lithium-ion batteries are prone to, solid-state batteries are safer.

Solid-state batteries are a promising power source for the internet-of-things devices that are coming into wider use, and for electric cars because of their potential to offer greater range than the stacks of lithium-ion cells that power such vehicles now.

The project aims to develop technology to make solid-state automotive batteries practical and mass-produce them.

It hopes to come up with designs and develop manufacturing processes and testing methods for automotive solid-state batteries by the end of March 2023.

It is working with Japan’s Honda Motor to develop batteries for electric vehicles aimed at the Chinese market, and is set to start supplying batteries to Germany’s Volkswagen.

Japan still has the edge in solid-state batteries, with its companies holding nearly half the patents in the world for related technologies.

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Researchers are developing fast-charging solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire.

Low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries because the batteries take a relatively long time to charge, usually about 10 to 12 hours in the case of a fully discharged battery.

In addition to the development for electromobility, the spokesman for the “Battery storage” topic in the Helmholtz Association believes solid-state batteries will also be used in other areas in future: “Solid-state batteries are currently being developed with priority as energy storage for next-generation electric vehicles. But we also believe that solid-state batteries will prevail in other fields of application that require a long service life and safe operation, such as medical technology or integrated components in the smart home area,” says Eichel.

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface.

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