WARRENDALE, PA—Today's electric cars use lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes. While they represent an initial step toward slowing the march of global warming, these batteries are not without a significant price premium. They also offer a limited driving range, typically under 100km between charges. In addition, a fire risk exists with the use of flammable organic electrolytes when short circuits increase temperature.
An article in the Energy Quarterly section of the December 2014 issue of MRS Bulletinexamines all-solid-state batteries and their use in electric vehicles as a successor to lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes.
The article, Solid-state batteries enter EV fray, written by Arthur L. Robinson with Feature Editor Jürgen Janek of Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany, suggests that a switch to solid-state could lead to a reduction in and even elimination of the fire risk associated with liquid electrolytes.
Improvements achieved through research include a higher volumetric energy density which increases the driving range between charges, and sufficient power density making energy available when required. Longer cycle life and shelf life are also significant improvements when switching to all-solid-state batteries.
Auto giant Toyota is already looking to introduce vehicles powered at least in part by solid-state batteries by the 2020s. They hope that by this time, the cost will be comparable to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Achieving the ideal practical all-solid-state battery will require the confluence of several fabrication technologies. If these energy-efficient solid-state batteries do make the jump to the showroom floor, this will be an important step on the way to the ultimate future battery.
View the article in full.
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MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.
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