Solid-state batteries capable of delivering on a 400+ mile range per single charge are a real possibility and possess “great potential” according to Volkswagen’s Chairman of the Board Dr Martin Winterkorn.
Those comments from Winterkorn were made recently during a Stanford award ceremony for “Science Award Electrochemistry.”
Bold comments (relatively so anyways). Of course, if such a battery can be economically manufactured, then that would more-or-less turn the industry upside-down — pretty much eliminating “range anxiety anxiety” and opening EVs up to a segment of the market that is currently disinterested in driving them.
As sister site GAS2 notes, “the ability to bring 1,000 Wh/l to EVs [makes] them rival the range of many conventional cars. Current battery energy is in the area of just 260 Wh/l, so Winterkorn is looking at nearly quadrupling the density of the current crop of battery tech.”
Another key factor will be bringing down the costs, with the VW exec saying that lowering the price to about 100 euros ($124) per kWh would “significantly increase the market potential of electric vehicles.”
The solid electrolyte of solid-state batteries is also much less likely to catch fire compared to the liquid solutions many EVs currently use (not that such a concern compares to the concern of a gasoline tank catching fire). Toyota claims to already have a 400 Wh/l battery pack, but it’s clearly not excited about or bullish on EVs, so….
While Volkswagen has been something of a late arriver to the EV market, the company is slowly making gains towards its goal of a diversified EV lineup. Company executives have previously stated that they expect to have EVs with ranges of 300+ miles by the end of 2017. While this article has mostly dealt with solid-state technologies, Volkswagen is also reportedly pursuing lithium-air battery technology.
Image Credit: Volkswagen