A new report from IDTechEX forecasts the solid-state battery market will grow to $8 billion by 2031. Under most of the mass-production plans, the solid-state battery will likely take off after 2025, although small-scale production may happen even earlier, IDTechEX said. The car plug-in market will take the largest share (66%) in 2031, followed by smartphone applications.
Major solid-state battery players globally. Source: IDTechEx
The report puts a special focus is placed on winning chemistries, with a full analysis of eight inorganic solid electrolytes and of organic polymer electrolytes.
Solid-state electrolyte technology approach Source: IDTechEx
In 2015, Volkswagen took a 5% stake in QuantumScape, Dyson acquired Sakti3, Bosch acquired SEEO, and Johnson Battery Technologies sold its solid-state batteries to BP. Although in 2017, Bosch gave up SEEO and was selling the company, and Dyson abandoned the technologies of Sakti3, the interest in solid-state batteries never vanished.
Ford, Samsung, and Hyundai invested in Solid Power. The latter also partnered with BMW. Renault, Mitsubishi, and Nissan invested in Ionic Materials. In 2020 there were the newly developed solid-state batteries based on argyrodite electrolyte by Samsung and a further $200-million investment by Volkswagen on QuantumScape. As well as the companies just mentioned, Honda, Fisker, Panasonic, CATL also got involved in this area.
Flammable liquid electrolytes in most commercial li-ion batteries are considered a threat to safety as they can easily shrink under high temperatures, lead to short circuits and then catch fire. Replacing organic liquid electrolytes with solid-state counterparts, solid-state batteries enable safer, long-lasting batteries.
Better safety means less safety monitoring electronics in the battery modules/packs. Therefore, even the initial generations of solid-state batteries may have similar, or even less energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries, the energy available in the battery pack can be comparable or even higher than the latter.
With the larger electrochemical window that the solid electrolytes can provide, high voltage cathode materials can be used. In addition, high-energy-density lithium metal anode can further push the energy density beyond 1,000 Wh/L. These features can further make the solid-state battery a game-changer, IDTechEx said.
Lithium-ion battery manufacturing has been dominated by East Asia, with Japan, China, and South Korea playing a significant role. US and European countries are now competing, shifting the added values away from East Asia and building battery manufacturing close to the application market. New material selection and change of manufacturing procedures show an indication of a reshuffle of the battery supply chain. From both technology and business point of view, the development of solid-state batteries has become part of the next-generation battery strategy.