Solid-state EV battery stays in shape to hint at huge range extensions

Solid-state EV battery stays in shape to hint at huge range extensions
A new electrode material developed for EV batteries could unlock faster-charging and greater range
A new electrode material developed for EV batteries could unlock faster-charging and greater range
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A new electrode material developed for EV batteries could unlock faster-charging and greater range
A new electrode material developed for EV batteries could unlock faster-charging and greater range

Solid-state batteries, where the electrolyte consists of a solid material rather than a liquid one, hold massive potential for future energy storage applications, but have been plagued by stability issues that impact their longevity. A new design points to a new solution to this problem, with the team developing a novel electrode material that retains its volume throughout charging to enable the battery to endure hundreds of cycles.

An ability to operate an electric vehicle or smartphone on a solid-state battery instead of today’s lithium-ion architecture could see them run for longer before they need recharging, and require less plug-in time when they do. Their stability issues, however, are related to the movement of lithium ions in and out of the battery electrodes during charging, which causes them to expand and shrink and ultimately alters the chemistry of the device.

An international team of scientists has designed a new electrode for these batteries that is claimed to offer unprecedented stability. The material is made of lithium titanate and lithium vanadium dioxide, ground down into nanometer-sized particles. Used as a battery electrode, this material offers high-capacity, and enables lithium ions to be reversibly inserted and extracted during charging and discharging.

The result is an electrode material that retains the same volume during operation. The scientists have pinned this on a delicate balancing act that takes place as lithium ions exit and vanadium ions migrate from their original positions to fill in these empty spaces.

“When shrinkage and expansion are well balanced, dimensional stability is retained while the battery is charged or discharged, i.e. during cycling,” said Professor Naoaki Yabuuchi of Yokohama National University, Japan, who led the research. “We anticipate that a truly dimensionally invariable material – one that retains its volume upon electrochemical cycling – could be developed by further optimizing the chemical composition of the electrolyte.”

The novel electrode material was put to the test in a solid-state battery cell and performed impressively, with a high capacity of 300 mAh/g, and perhaps most importantly, no degradation over 400 charge and discharge cycles.

“The absence of capacity fading over 400 cycles clearly indicates the superior performance of this material compared with those reported for conventional all-solid-state cells with layered materials," said study author Associate Professor Neeraj Sharma.

The team plans to continue refining the electrolyte to build the kinds of batteries needed to serve electric vehicles, with greater safety and lifespan. This could mean not just electric vehicles the way we see them today, but helping usher in a new era where they charge much faster and cover greater distances.

"This finding could drastically reduce battery costs,” said Yabuuchi. “The development of practical high-performance solid-state batteries can also lead to the development of advanced electric vehicles. In the future, for instance, it may be possible to fully charge an electric vehicle in as little as five minutes.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Materials

Source: University of New South Wales

Yet another in a long line of articles making the same general claim. No real commentary on whether this battery is buildable at scale and at a reasonable cost, and of course they are NOT particularly close to the energy density desired and 400 charge cycles isn't that many -- so far -- even compared to most of the other articles I've seen on the general problem. I wish them well, of course, as who DOESN'T want fast charge, high density, and 1000+ cycles with little or no degradation (he says as his cell phone is down to retaining charge for less than 24 hours, sigh) but so far, it is always beer tomorrow, never beer today.
Reporting only on its 400 cycle performance makes me think that it has problems with longer cycles. It's not that hard to test it for longer, so not doing so--or rather not reporting on it--means something. The Na-S cell story a few days ago at least reported 1000 cycle performance, which seemed pretty impressive for a cell technology just starting out.
Oh the naysayers of technical breakthroughs. Only 400 cycles - gosh they must be hiding something - or they raced to publish before another lab tweaking lithium battery technology who may be working on a solid state electrode could publish their results. Ultimately it isn't the 'henny-penny' comments that move the technology forward, it is the incremental breakthroughs! And with incremental breakthroughs, scalability and unforeseen technical issues may need to be addressed.

This is just one article moving the capacity and durability of lithium ion solid state battery into a new reality. A reality of more reliable, energy dense rapid charging batteries. They will continue working on alternate battery technologies which will result in higher density, lower weight, better utilization batteries - but not today. I want one for my phone, for my car, for an electric airplane. But it takes quite a few incremental breakthroughs before that happens so you have your work cut out for you Nick. Keep us apprised and I'll read them voraciously after laughing at the naysayers bellyaching comments.

Thanks Nick!
5 minute recharge , wow , let,s say there was a battery that could run a car for 500 km and charge in 5 minutes.
charge at say 240v would require 1000 amps , I would love to see the cable for that.
Huge range extensions? The current density is about 250 and you upping it to 300 and calling a 20% improvement huge?
Just ignore people who have no idea what this means every large jump forward in technology starts with a small step, I still think that all of the major roads should be fitted with a wireless charging system so that cars/trucks can drive without using the power in their batteries then once you change to minor roads that they continue on battery power this could lower the weight of vehicles with a smaller battery pack which would charge faster.
"to enable the battery to endure hundreds of cycles"
Sounds rather limited. I'd prefer thousands of cycles!
"This finding could drastically reduce battery costs"

Somehow I doubt adding Titanium and Vanadium to the battery formula that still has Lithium at every increasing cost is going to result in lowered battery costs. I mean, the advancement is still important, but I'd like to see the team discover much cheaper materials that can produce the same or similar results.
Rj Thermo
Looks like promising a development, but 400 cycles is not an attractive feature unless the price will just be a fraction of the leading Lithium Ion or Lithium Iron, and other leading EV batteries. The charging time though and the power density is very impressive.