A new solid state lithium battery has been recently invented by Japanese researchers. The cell performs just as well as regular lithium ion batteries, but instead of having a liquid electrolyte, it features a solid one. The advantages are numerous and people have been researching solid electrolytes for the past few years.
Lithium ion batteries usually feature liquid electrolytes, but they present many issues in everyday usage over the broad spectrum of uses. So far, solid electrolytes have not been adequately developed to equal the performance of liquid ones. They either didn’t conduct ions as well or were unstable to temperature variations.
The solid electrolyte discovered by the Japanese researchers uses lithium to move the ions, but covers it with a porous crystal lattice. When pushed, the ions pass through the lattice, but when no voltage is applied or when no load is present on the electrodes, it keeps the ions still.
Tests showed that the new battery is as good as any lithium ion version with liquid electrolyte, and double of any other solid electrolyte lithium battery invented so far. Furthermore, the battery can withstand temperatures from -100 °C to 100 °C.
Several other safety tests that cover all the conditions that a battery can possibly work in will have to be performed before an actual unit can be sold on the market and the producer can guarantee for. When that will happen, prices will surely go down and the lifetime of EV batteries will go up, which can only mean good things for the environment.