While much research has gone into anode and cathode materials, Sakti3 focused instead on the electrolyte, developing a solid state electrolyte that makes the battery as easy to produce as flat-screen television screens.
Right now, there seems to be at least three approaches to making electric vehicles affordable for the masses, be it mass production, efficiency improvements, or new battery technology.
At least in the United States, transportation accounts for about one third of emissions. Electric vehicles, at least on their own, generate no emissions.
They can be powered via the grid, which generates some emissions, or they can even be recharged via solar power, minimal emissions related to the solar panels themselves. The problem with mass adoption of electric vehicles, however, is the sacrifices that come with them. The main issues are price and range, and many drivers simply cannot make the mental leap required to pay slightly more for, at least in their minds, is a less-convenient vehicle.
What is the key to making that mental leap bearable? Is it cheaper batteries, better batteries, or more efficiency? Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that the key lies in mass production, the economies of scale driving down the price of current lithium-ion battery technology. Other automakers are taking the efficiency approach, such as the Nissan Leaf, which gains range thanks to more-efficient electric motor-generators and lightweight construction. Mass-production and efficiency can only go so far, however. Perhaps the real key to affordable electric vehicles lies in new rechargeable battery technology.
It seems that at least once a month, there is some “new” news on some important rechargeable battery technology that is set to disrupt the market, yet may still take years to commercialize. Advanced lithium-ion cells from Sakti3 seem like they might be the closest to breaking the code.
Sakti3’s solid state battery also has double the energy density of current lithium-ion battery technology. Given time, Sakti3 engineers and backers believe they can get prices down to a fifth of current rates by 2020, which means a 300-mile electric vehicles could cost as little as $25,000.