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BMW takes on Volkswagens in a race for next-level EV batteries

  • Most EVs in the market use lithium-ion batteries which have a liquid electrolyte between the anode and cathode.
  • Solid-state batteries would swap the liquid for a solid, improving performance and safety.
21 Apr 2021

Ever since the concept of electric vehicles has hit the market, all major players of the automobile industry are quickly switching to the eco-friendly mode of cars. BMW was the latest to join in with an announcement of a prototype of a solid-state battery car before 2025.

With this move, the German automaker has joined the accelerating race for a technology that promises to boost the power and range of electric vehicles. In a recent statement, the automaker said their researchers are working day in day out on solid-state batteries, noting that the cell storage of solid batteries will take the center stage for its next-level electric vehicles.

The latest development means the company will join Volkswagen, Toyota, and other major players in a fight to get the system in vehicles over the coming years.

“By the end of the decade we will have an automotive-grade solid-state battery for use in our car series,” BMW development Chief, Frank Weber, said at an event in Munich.

Currently, most EVs in the market are using lithium-ion batteries which have a liquid electrolyte between the anode and cathode. Solid-state batteries would replace the liquid with a solid, improving performance and safety.

“They can add range, slash charging time and eliminate the fire risk,” said BNEF energy storage analyst Cecilia L'Ecluse in a report published Monday. “That is a very big deal.”

BNEF also predicted that the solid-state battery costs will go down as the EV industry scales up over the next decade.

Earlier in March, Volkswagen had also announced that it is researching solid-state batteries that will be cheaper to assemble and allow for faster charging. Meanwhile, Toyota already aims to test solid-state batteries in its new concept cars.

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