Battery maker claims that it has revolutionary solid-state battery that outperforms lithium-ion rivals

Solid Power’s battery could usher in a new age and increased competitive for electric vehicles if performance and manufacturing claims come true

Solid Power's 22-layer, 20Ah all solid-state lithium metal cell compared to the company's first-generation 10-layer, 2Ah cell [Credit: Solid State]

Solid Power, a start-up founded in 2012 as a spin-out from the University of Colorado Boulder, has said that it now has capacity to produce a solid-state battery that can outperform the best lithium-ion batteries available today. It replaces the flammable liquid electrolyte in a conventional lithium-ion battery with a proprietary sulfide solid electrolyte.

It has said that its Louisville, Colo. facility is producing early versions of a 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state lithium metal batteries on the company's continuous roll-to-roll production line.

They claim that the batteries can provide a 50-100% increase in energy density compared to current gen rechargeable batteries. In its current state, the battery can reportedly produce 330 Wh/kg from 22-layer cells. In a roadmap announced in a press release, they say that they aim to go beyond 400 Wh/kg by 2022.

Solid Power has partnerships with both BMW and Ford to jointly develop all solid-state batteries. Solid Power is backed Samsung, Hyundai, Ford, Volta Energy Technologies and Solvay, among others.

They expect full-scale cell demonstration by the end of 2021.

A critical advantage that its batteries have is in their production mode, with minimal retooling needed. The company says the cells can be manufactured at commercial scale using industry standard lithium-ion roll-to-roll production equipment. The 20Ah cells are currently being produced to validate large-format cell production processes in partnership with its automotive partners. Solid Power anticipates entering the formal automotive qualification process in early 2022 with improved capacity battery cells.

"Solid Power has now demonstrated feasibility of large format cells produced on the same equipment used for conventional lithium-ion, and we are excited to push the performance further as we move toward automotive qualification," said Josh Buettner-Garrett, Chief Technology Officer at Solid Power.

In current testing, Solid Power says that its double layer pouch cells have managed 250 stable cycles of discharging and recharging and that it operates well is sub-zero conditions, which is a substantial issue for current vehicle batteries.

"Solid Power has shown that our all solid-state cell design can be produced using scalable processes on industry standard lithium-ion equipment, and early multi-layer prototype cells using a highly conservative cell design have already exceeded the energy performance of today's lithium-ion cells," said CEO and co-founder Doug Campbell. "Proof of successful scale-up is key to realizing the potential of any next-generation battery technology, which is why lithium-ion roll-to-roll compatibility has been our mission since day one."

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