Who will be the first to create solid-state batteries?
If automakers want to convince more people to buy electric vehicles, they will have to build batteries with longer range. Sold-state battery technology appears to be the answer, and numerous automakers are now in a race to develop it. Audi wants to develop an EV supercar with sold-state batteries, and Fisker ditched Graphene technology to focus on more realistic sold-state batteries. Now, Hyundai has entered the race to be the first automaker with sold-state battery technology.
The Korean automaker has announced a partnership with Boston-based battery developer, Ionic Materials. The privately held company will "advance the development of battery technology and improve EV performance with solid-state battery innovation." Ionic Materials is currently developing a new solid electrolyte polymer, which would be safer than the current liquid used in lithium-ion batteries. The benefits of this technology include safer batteries, higher performance, and lower cost. As Hyundai looks to add more electric models to its range, this investment could pay off sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, Hyundai hasn't specified when it expects to have this technology ready for production, but other automakers such as Toyota and Fisker are aiming for the early 2020s. It is interesting to see Hyundai choose a US-based battery developer, rather than a larger Korean company such as LG.