It’s been a while since we talked about Fisker and it would seem Fisker is getting ready to unleash the potential of solid-state batteries. But not so fast…
Fisker Promises to Unleash the Potential of Solid-State Batteries
Fisker has been around for some time, and then off the radar for a while only to come back a few years ago with a beautiful, aggressive design and bold statement of using solid-state graphene batteries. Okay, the design is indeed striking, but solid-state batteries and graphene are still only in laboratories. Although they show plenty of potential, they haven’t been able to ramp up the tests, even less commercialization, to a feasible level. To be fair, the company says the technology won’t be available until after 2023. Nonetheless, out of all battery research going on, solid state and use of graphene are two of the most promising improvements and perhaps the closest to mass production.
While other news media is quick to call this another “Tesla killer,” we’ll hold off on such hyperbole since, in 15 years, no one has actually “killed” Tesla. Henrik Fisker, who worked on some of Tesla’s designs (ones that didn’t get used) claims his company developed a battery breakthrough. If so, it could, indeed, knock Tesla off its golden EV perch and would completely change the comparison of charging a battery to fueling up a gas car. But we have to wait to see if that claims will play nicely with reality.
Fisker did file patents for a solid-state battery design. It claims the batteries would give the eventual Fisker a range of more than 500 miles per charge. It also claims that recharging would happen in less than one minute. Okay, we can all get onboard for that last part. Who wouldn’t want that? But we want to see it in the physical world.
The big deal with solid-state batteries is that they replace the liquid currently used in lithium-ion batteries. The advantages are numerous. They would be lighter and have less thermal runaway problems. Fisker says that its particular design solves the low energy density and limited temperature range Li-ion batteries have. Its solid-state batteries would deliver up to 2.5 times more energy density than current lithium-ion batteries, and cost ⅓ as much to manufacture.
Fisker needs to be careful here. Its past venture catapulted it to the forefront of the alternative energy automotive world, but it also landed with a thud. It’s too bad because the Fisker Karma was a nice car, according to the initial drive we had at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Despite its noticeable weight, while it lacked raw performance, it certainly made up for that for some customers with its cozy interior and muffled cabin.
It’s too bad the company rushed the car out before it was ready. By bowing to investor pressures, I think it signed its descent to an untimely end.
Fisker originally announced back in 2016 that its EMotion electric vehicle (EV), pictured above, would run on graphene solid-state batteries. A year later, it later changed that claim to a 400 mile range using lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, there was no proof of either. No one saw it, no one touched — at least, no one we can vouch for.
One thing Fisker recently announced is that the EMotion would be at the CES event in January. Luckily, fellow writer Kyle Field and perhaps I will be there to cover it. One thing that peaked our interest is that the battery team is headed by Dr. Fabio Albano, who was one of the co-founders of Sakti3. Sakti3 claimed to have a solid-state battery … but could never fully proved its efficiency. The company’s innovations are now under the corporate arms of Dyson.
Fisker Solid-State EMotion, Now
Today, the company says it will introduce the EMotion with over 400 miles of range. It also says a 9-minute charge would give it up to 125 miles of range. A fully connected car, as you would expect with autonomous driving everywhere these days, it would sport a LIDAR system, all-wheel drive, and $129,000 sticker price.
Fisker, We Can’t Wait To See The Solid-State EMotion!
It might be easy to think we are dismissive of Fisker’s claims, but we are not. We hope it does have the breakthrough it is claiming. The EV community would certainly benefit from it. However, talking about patents in 2017 when the technology won’t be ready before 2023, if not after or not at all, is a little on the sensationalist side of things.
We hope to see the Fisker EMotion, with or without a solid-state battery, soon — ideally, at the 2018 CES event in Las Vegas.
Source: Fisker Inc.
Is the front fascia a Fisker hint to the amazing Alfa Romeo TZ2?