Nissan is the latest among several EV makers who are developing solid-state batteries. Nissan’s Research Center in Kanagawa Prefecture has recently been added with its prototype production facility for solid-state batteries for Nissan EV. The facility is one of the first milestones of a pilot production line of solid-state batteries that it will launch in 2024. Nissan looks forward to placing them on par with gas-engined vehicles by reducing the production cost of solid-state batteries to $75 per kWh, and further down to $65 per kWh afterwards.
Along with disclosing the production facility , if also gives EV enthusiasts the hope for battery designs and compositions that could bring down the need for relying on expensive materials like lithium. Nissan is focusing on solid-state batteries as a better alternative to lithium-ion batteries currently used in modern EVs. The energy density of solid-state batteries will be double of lithium-ion batteries and also ensure shorter charging times and improved charging/discharging performance. Nissan indicates that the manufacturing cost of solid-state batteries will be lesser, which is also one of the major reasons why they are focusing on its commercialisation.
Nissan EV comes as no surprise, only the fulfillment of an expectation. The company has been at the forefront of introducing technology for electric vehicles through a wide array of research and development including battery material research at the molecular level to safe and high-performance EV development. Nissan has even taken the initiative for including city development using EVs as storage batteries. Nissan is working by itself in a race to patent and mass-produce certain battery compositions for others. Other automakers are also working to develop solid-state batteries in pursuit of a solution to the long-predicted lithium crunch that the EV industry is heading to. The launch of Nissan’s prototype production facility has prompted a number of other automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis to invest in start-ups working on solid-state batteries.
Ford announced that it is developing all-solid-state batteries which will be ready for the market by the end of the decade. QuantumScape, a company backed by Volkswagen, is also planning to start selling solid-state batteries in 2024. Toyota wants to start manufacturing batteries by around 2025, but they have to continue research into the technology. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker could seek to address “insane” lithium prices by entering the mining industry to secure more.
The innovation in solid-state technology will enable the EV industry to flourish beyond the constraints in the volume of lithium annually mined at the moment. The new urgency for solid-state batteries is to overcome the constraint that limits the number of EVs produced each year. According to Nissan, their knowledge and experience will help them in the development of all-solid-state batteries and they have also combined important basic technologies. Their research and development as well as manufacturing division will further focus on utilizing the prototype production facility to expedite the functional application of all-solid-state batteries.
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