And it's not from Tesla.
There's no question that Tesla is currently the most popular and most advanced all-electric automaker. The Tesla Model S has proved since its 2012 launch that EVs can serve as viable daily and long-distance drivers, providing there's a reliable and abundant charging network in place. Before the Model S, EVs were seen as more likely to be city cars, at best. With the Model S approaching its 10-year anniversary, it's amazing to see just how far battery technology has come. Today, the most advanced lithium-ion battery packs have a distance of a little over 300 miles.
But here's the thing with all technologies: they advance, and Samsung has just announced a breakthrough in battery tech. More specifically, solid-state batteries, the type of battery capable of resolving many issues surrounding EVs. Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) decided to do an experiment.
They removed the lithium metal anodes found in solid-state batteries and replaced them with a silver-carbon composite layer. The team discovered that doing so enabled the battery to support a larger capacity, longer life cycle, and improved overall safety. The layer of silver-carbon also measures only five micrometers thick yet has an increased overall energy density.
The so-called "pouch" the team created would give an EV a range of about 500 miles and have a lifecycle of more than 1,000 recharges. In other words, an EV with a battery that lasts for up to 500,000 miles. Solid-state batteries also have even faster charging times than today's best lithium-ion batteries.
The only downside? This solid-state battery breakthrough is still several years away from production, let alone being used for EVs. It's still very much a significant step in the right direction and automakers will surely be paying close attention to further developments. Assuming further testing and development continue smoothly, Samsung's discovery could be a turning point in battery and EV history.