WHICH COMPANIES ARE LEADING THE WAY IN SOLID STATE BATTERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT?

Toyota Motor Corporation – Toyota is one of the early pioneers in solid-state battery R&D. They established a pilot plant for solid-state battery production back in 2014. Since then, they have continued robust research efforts. In 2022, Toyota announced that they planned to start producing solid-state batteries by the mid-2020s. Their goal is to use solid-state batteries to extend EV ranges to around 500 km on a single charge. Solid-state technologies could also help reduce manufacturing costs over time.

Sakti3 – This Ann Arbor, Michigan-based startup was acquired by Dyson in 2015. Under Dyson, Sakti3 continued its work developing all-solid-state battery cells using a thin film lithium metal anode. In 2020, Dyson announced it would stop work on solid-state batteries, abruptly ending Sakti3’s research efforts and redirecting resources. However, Sakti3 pioneered some key principles in solid-state cell designs during its tenure.

Cymbet – Founded in 1996, Cymbet is one of the earliest companies focused exclusively on solid-state thin film battery technology. They developed a proprietary alloy used in the creation of thin film solid-state batteries. Cymbet produced some of the first commercially available solid-state microbatteries. While they haven’t produced larger battery packs yet, their work established foundational approaches.

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Volkswagen – The German automaker established a new business unit called PowerCo in 2020 to focus on battery technology research among other areas. One particular priority is developing solid-state batteries both in-house and through partnerships. VW aims to introduce solid-state designs around the later half of this decade to improve battery performance metrics.

BMW – This luxury automaker has been researching next-gen batteries including solid-state varieties. In 2021, BMW partnered with solid-state battery startup Solid Power to co-develop production-oriented cells. Their goal is to incorporate solid-state designs into vehicles starting in 2025. BMW is taking a collaborative approach which could help accelerate the technology.

QuantumScape – Founded in 2010, this Silicon Valley company went public via SPAC merger in late 2020. QuantumScape is developing solid-state lithium metal batteries using a ceramic separator. Independent testing has shown promising results for the company’s prototype cells including increased energy density and improved safety. They plan to start production in 2024.

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Solid Power – Based in Colorado, Solid Power is partnering with BMW and Ford to further develop its sulfide all-solid-state battery technology. The company believes its design could offer 50% more energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Solid Power aims to scale up production and have pre-production cells ready by 2024.

LG Chem – The Korean battery giant established an energy solutions company called LG Energy Solution in 2020. They have an R&D division exploring solid-state technologies. LG aims to mass produce solid-state EV batteries by 2030 that could increase battery capacities by 30%. With significant existing manufacturing scale, LG is well-positioned for future commercialization.

CATL – China’s top battery supplier is also working on solid-state innovations. In 2021, they demonstrated a prototype solid-state battery pack and aims to start production around 2024-2025 pending further testing and optimization. CATL has the resources to scale solid-state rapidly depending on how their research progresses over the next few years.

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Ionic Materials – Another US-based startup, Ionic Materials develops a proprietary solid polymer electrolyte material that could provide cost advantages over other solid-state approaches. Partners include Hyundai and Stellantis. Ionic aims to enable high-energy solid-state batteries by 2026 that exceed the performance of today’s lithium-ion packs.

As this overview shows, automakers and battery producers are aggressively pursuing solid-state technologies through both internal R&D and external partnerships. Early prototypes demonstrate the potential for significantly higher energy densities and greater safety. Several challenges around manufacturing processes and long-term cycling still need to be overcome before solid-state designs are ready for commercial vehicle applications. Major corporations are positioning themselves to be ready when the technology matures later this decade. Continued progress in 2022-2024 will become increasingly evident as more collaborative projects bear fruit.

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One thought on “WHICH COMPANIES ARE LEADING THE WAY IN SOLID STATE BATTERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT?

  1. Steven Okelley

    Based on the information provided, the companies leading the way in solid state battery research and development are:

    – Toyota Motor Corporation – Pioneering early work since 2014, aiming for production in mid-2020s.

    – Sakti3 (acquired by Dyson) – Developed key principles before research stopped in 2020.

    – Cymbet – One of the earliest focused on thin film solid-state, with commercial microbatteries.

    – Volkswagen – Established PowerCo unit in 2020 focusing on batteries including solid state.

    – BMW – Partnering with Solid Power for 2025 targeted production introduction.

    – QuantumScape – Developing lithium metal ceramic cells, prototypes show promise, plans 2024 production.

    – Solid Power – Partnering with BMW and Ford, aims for pre-production cells by 2024.

    – LG Chem – Exploring technologies with 30% capacity increase goal for 2030 mass production.

    – CATL – Demonstrated prototype pack in 2021, aims for 2024-25 production pending testing.

    – Ionic Materials – Develops proprietary solid polymer electrolyte, aims for 2026 commercial batteries.

    The automakers Toyota, VW, BMW along with battery companies QuantumScape, Solid Power, LG Chem, CATL and startup Ionic Materials seem to be leading the way in solid state battery research and development.

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