Citing “sources close to the matter,” the Korea Herald reports that Hyundai Motor is developing solid-state batteries for its electric vehicles, and has established pilot-scale production facilities.
“Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology,” the source told The Korea Herald.
Solid-state rechargeable batteries are drawing significant attention due to their increased energy density (partially enabled by the safe use of Li metal anodes), safety and reliability. Solid-state electrolytes are superior to liquid electrolytes in various aspects including dendrite formation on the anode, flammability, and leakage.
Replacing the organic liquid electrolyte with a nonflammable and more reliable inorganic solid electrolyte (SE) simplifies battery design while improving safety and durability of the system. This also allows the use of large-capacity electrode materials—sulfur positive electrode paired with a lithium metal negative electrode, for example, which are difficult to employ in conventional liquid electrolyte batteries.
The all-solid-state battery also offers improved packaging efficiency, as the cell design can allow in-series stacking and bi-polar structures. High energy densities can be achieved by reducing the dead space between single cells.
However, solid-state batteries are challenged by limited power densities, resulting from the low ionic conductivity of the solid electrolyte, the electrode/electrolyte interfacial compatibility, and limited kinetics of the electrodes. (Earlier post.)
Hyundai reportedly is developing the batteries on its own, without partnering with Samsung SDI or LG Chem, the two leading Korea-based EV battery specialists.
Hyundai Motor is participating in and/or providing funding to various advanced solid-state battery research projects, including work at Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology (KICET) and Tsinghua University in Chin (e.g., Shin et al. 2017); Hanyang University in Korea (e.g., Eom et al., 2017); and the University of Texas at Austin led by Professor John Goodenough (e.g., Park et al., 2016).
Minyong Eom, Seunghyeon Son, Chanhwi Park, Sungwoo Noh, William T. Nichols, Dongwook Shin, (2017) “High performance all-solid-state lithium-sulfur battery using a Li2S-VGCF nanocomposite,” Electrochimica Acta, Volume 230, Pages 279-284 doi: 10.1016/j.electacta.2017.01.155
Ran-Hee Shin, Sam Ick Son, Yoon Soo Han, Young Do Kim, Hyung-Tae Kim, Sung-Soo Ryu, Wei Pan (2017) “Sintering behavior of garnet-type Li7La3Zr2O12-Li3BO3 composite solid electrolytes for all-solid-state lithium batteries,” Solid State Ionics, Volume 301, Pages 10-14 doi: 10.1016/j.ssi.2017.01.005
Kyusung Park, Byeong-Chul Yu, Ji-Won Jung, Yutao Li, Weidong Zhou, Hongcai Gao, Samick Son, and John B. Goodenough (2016) “Electrochemical Nature of the Cathode Interface for a Solid-State Lithium-Ion Battery: Interface between LiCoO2 and Garnet-Li7La3Zr2O12” Chemistry of Materials 28 (21), 8051-8059 doi: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03870