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The sodium-state battery and its future in electric vehicles

A lithium-ion battery and a solid-state battery.

Photo: https://article.murata.com/en-us/article/basic-lithium-ion-battery-4

Against a backdrop of soaring prices and foretold shortfalls of lithium-ion battery materials, the solid-state battery has become one of the most promising solutions for future batteries, supported by its high thermal stability, wear resistance, fast charging, and greater energy storage density.

How does a sodium-state battery work?

Solid-state batteries employ almost the same mechanism as lithium-ion batteries for extracting electricity from the batteries. However, solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes, a carbon-free anode, and a cathode composite layer. During charge or discharge, the ions flow into the solid matrix rather than the solution of lithium-ion batteries, and there is no separator to separate the cathode from the anode.

In addition, redox reactions happen as the batteries store and distribute energy, with the cathode undergoing reduction and the anode enduring oxidation.

The merits and demerits.

Solid-state batteries boast greater energy density, increased reliability, and wear resistance, fast charging, and improved operational safety. Liquid electrolytes are volatile and flammable at high temperatures while solid electrolytes have high thermal stability. This limits the risk of fire and explosion happening on electric vehicles. For example, a Tesla Model S battery caught fire on June 13, in California, which stirred up worries about electric vehicle safety among electric vehicle drivers.

The higher energy density per unit area, which is achieved by compact size, makes solid-state batteries more tantalizing than ever before. The energy density of a solid-state battery can reach up to ten times greater than that of a lithium-ion battery of the same size. This will make electric vehicles outperform the ones nowadays.

Furthermore, a longer lifespan is another factor that marks out solid-state batteries. Typically, modern lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles can reach 2,000 to 3,000 cycles before the batteries need to be replaced or show noticeable degradation. However, the solid-state batteries can approach 10,000 cycles, bringing a longer electric vehicle lifespan.

There are also some obstacles to the development of solid-state batteries. The cost and the durability remain the largest problems now, and an inevitable defect exists in the solid-state batteries. The manufacturing process is based on many chemicals, such as oxides, and sulfides, some of which are sensitive to moisture. That means strict moisture control is essential during the production process. Moreover, the defect of solid-state batteries is due to the build-up of lithium dendrites, which are tiny, twig-like particles that can penetrate the battery, resulting in short circuits and other issues.

Expanding market potential.

Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi have pledged a combined investment of $25.8 billion in electric vehicles and the alliance aims to achieve a commercial application of solid-state batteries by mid-2028.

Toyota, even holding the most patents for solid-state batteries, upped the ante by declaring its commitment to invest more than $13.5 billion by 2030 in developing next-generation solid-state batteries.

Samsung is also in the race to develop solid-state batteries. For example, it introduced a solid-state battery two years ago which can drive an electric car up to 800 km on a single charge and has a lifespan of more than 1,000 cycles.

Future outlooks.

Solid-state batteries have been recognized as the next step in electric vehicle development. A new battery evolution is bound to begin once the obstacles are cleared and a promising future is to come.

 


Post time: Aug-15-2022