The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is working to produce an electric car that uses solid-state batteries as early as 2025, in a move that puts it amid the frontrunners in the global race to launch the next generation of electric vehicles. Solid-state batteries offer a step change beyond the current liquid lithium-ion technology, with the ability to hold more power and charge faster.
Toyota is aiming to be first to market, with a target of commercializing a solid-state car battery in the first half of the 2020s. BMW also expects to release a car in 2026 using the next-generation technology. “The technology promises huge advantages over current lithium-ion batteries in cost, density and thermal stability,” Gilles Normand, Renault’s head of electric vehicles, told the Financial Times.
“There are many challenges, but we are making very good progress with an aim of getting it to market before 2030, and by 2025 if possible.” Carmakers are developing electric vehicles in order to hit increasingly stringent emissions targets and skirt the potential for bans on traditional engines in some cities.
Yet consumer adoption of such cars remains tiny, at less than 1 percent of global sales, held back by the costs of current technology as well as a perceived lack of charging infrastructure. By the time solid state-powered cars are available in the middle of the next decade, the market for battery vehicles will be well established, with UBS forecasting that 16 percent of global sales could be down to pure electric vehicles.