Current lithium-ion battery technology has some limitations, but could solid-state lithium-ion battery technology eliminate these?
The key to a renewable energy future, including solar power, wind power, and electric vehicles, is a good energy storage system.
In some applications, lithium-ion battery packs are making these a possibility.
For example, as spectacularly, albeit undeservedly viral, demonstrated by Tesla Motors and Brammo motorcycles, current lithium-ion battery technology is flammable, even though it takes quite a lot to set them on fire.
Additionally, current lithium-ion battery technology doesn’t give electric vehicles the range that people want, at least not in an affordable package for the masses. Tesla Motors wants to drive prices down by sheer force of supply and demand, by building the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility, but this does nothing for lithium-ion battery capacity, important for electric vehicle range.
Solid-state lithium-ion battery technology could provide the answer to both capacity and safety issues. Lacking a liquid electrolyte, solid state lithium-ion cells are smaller and lighter. Additionally, solid electrolyte isn’t flammable, which could make it a safer option in electric vehicles.
Seeo, based in Hayward, California, currently markets 1.6 kWh automotive-grade solid-state lithium-ion battery modules, but is working on something even bigger, or smaller, depending on how you look at it. The Seeo 26 kWh DryLyte Automotive Pack is currently rated at 130 Wh/kg, about the same as most other cylindrical and prismatic lithium-ion batteries. Currently, Seeo is testing a new 350 Wh/kg solid-state lithium-ion cell, and has its sights set on 400 Wh/kg. Samsung Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and GSR Ventures, have put in $17 million in funding to make it happen. Will Seeo make it to market, or will it end up as a PowerPoint presentation?