Game-changing battery breakthrough set to slash EV prices

  • Harvard scientists unveil a revolutionary “solid-state” battery, able to charge in minutes comparable to filling up with fuel. 
  • The battery retains 80% capacity after 6,000 cycles, boasting a 30-year equivalent lifespan.
  • With potential to slash EV costs, the battery is set to accelerate the transition to EVs, aligning with ambitious climate goals.

Revolutionary solid-state battery: a game-changer in EV affordability and sustainability

Over a quarter of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions stem from transportation alone. In a bold move, the Biden administration is aiming for EVs to dominate half of new vehicle sales by 2030. Despite this ambition though, EVs currently only capture 9% of new U.S. vehicle purchases.

But, a recent game-changing breakthrough from Harvard University researchers might be about to change things. The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) unveiled a groundbreaking development in solid-state batteries, capable of rapid charging in the same time as refuelling a conventional tank, and able to endure at least 6,000 recharge cycles.

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In the sprint toward solid-state batteries, companies like Volkswagen and Toyota have also been intensifying efforts to usher in a nationwide shift to EVs. Recognising the technology’s pivotal role, these players are aiming to integrate their own solid-state batteries into vehicles by the end of the decade.

Solid-state batteries, although visually similar to lithium-ion models, feature a revolutionary interior. By substituting the liquid, organic electrolyte with materials such as high-tech ceramics, they pave the way for enhanced performance and safety, marking a significant advancement in battery technology.

The postage stamp-sized battery developed by the Harvard team maintains an impressive 80% capacity even after enduring 6,000 cycles. Notably, it exhibits robust performance even in low-temperature conditions, showcasing its reliability and versatility across various environments.

The scientists claim their solid-state battery outshines competitors. By leveraging a lithium metal anode, it boasts a staggering tenfold capacity increase over standard graphite anodes. Harnessing a multilayer, multi-material design, the Harvard scientists have conquered the challenge of “dendrites” – root-like structures that can breach the anode’s surface, risking short-circuits. 

And with a lifespan of 30 years, this solid-state battery has the power to dramatically slash EV costs. Its swift recharge capability broadens the scope of applications, offering efficient energy solutions for various industries.

Dr Xin Li, associate professor of materials science at Harvard, said;

“If the consumer spends less money to buy an EV that will really drive global electrification. It’s not just electrical vehicles, it could be electric planes which need a lot of power to take off.”

The development of solid-state batteries marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards sustainable energy solutions. With their potential to enhance performance, increase safety, and reduce costs, solid-state batteries are poised to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs and reshape the energy landscape. As research and development efforts continue to advance, solid-state batteries hold the key to unlocking new possibilities for innovation and sustainability across various sectors, driving forward a greener and more resilient future.

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