More and more car manufacturers are entering the race to develop and offer solid-based batteries in their electric vehicles. Hyundai announced that it is investing in an American company called Ionic Materials.
Last year, Hyundai tried to develop the technology by itself, according to Korea Herald’s report. However, it decided to increase its chances of winning the race by partnering with another company. The only strange fact is that the manufacturer chose a small company in America rather than a large battery developer from Korea(the home country of Hyundai) such as LG.
Let’s figure out why everyone wants to change their lithium-ion batteries, and why Hyundai chose that specific company.
First of all, the lithium-ion battery technology is reaching its limit. The safety is one of its biggest problems since it can literally catch fire or explode. We have seen a lot of these incidents in smartphones, electric vehicles etc. Another problem is that the conventional batteries are near their theoretical performance limits. Finally, they are not cheap at all and there is no way to reduce their cost.
The Ionic Materials state that their solid electrolyte polymer solution will resolve all of these problems. It is much safer since it cannot explode or catch fire. Additionally, it provides higher energy density and costs less. If it manages to develop this successfully before anyone else, Hyundai will have an enormous advantage on the electric vehicle market.
However, the Korean manufacturer is not the only one who is openly interested in solid state batteries. Toyota says it will have them in cars by 2022. Fisker is also planning for the early 2020s. According to reports, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen are all developing this technology too. Considering all of the benefits of the technology, it is surprising that none of the other EV manufacturers are not openly developing it.