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Volkswagen hits major milestone in solid-state battery tech

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Jan '24

Volkswagen’s battery company PowerCo SE has announced its prototype solid-state battery cell has exceeded expectations in the its latest round of testing.

There’s a race on at the heart of battery technology and that’s to do with commercially viable solid-state battery cells being used in electric vehicles.

The promise of solid-state batteries is plentiful. They offer a higher energy density than existing battery tech, which means either lighter battery packs or longer vehicle range for the same weight and they’re even safer than lithium-ion batteries. And let’s not forget that battery-powered cars are much safer than combustion engine cars!

The benefits don’t stop there either, solid-state can accept faster chargers and can be recharged more frequently, potentially providing a longer life than traditional cells.

Finally, solid-state batteries involve fewer materials so there’s the potential carbon footprint savings too.

So given all that, there’s a whole lot of research and development going into the viability of solid-state batteries. This latest development by US-based company QuantumScape and confirmed by PowerCo SE sees trial cells completing over 1,000 charging cycles.

For an electric car with a WLTP range of 500-600 kilometres, this corresponds to a total mileage of more than half a million kilometres (over 310,000 miles). During the test, the cell barely aged and still had 95 per cent of its capacity the end of the test period.

However, for all the development work we’re still years away from solid-state batteries being commonplace on roads.

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