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Integrated Energy

China manufactures solid state batteries in series

According to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, a Chinese startup has started producing solid state batteries. They should also be suitable for e-cars from 2020 onwards.

13 Dec. 2018
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China manufactures solid state batteries in series (Photo: Tokyo Institute of Technology)

According to the report , the startup is Qing Tao (Kunshan) Energy Development Co. Ltd. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, solid state batteries use solid, non-flammable electrolytes that do not require cooling, have a much longer service life and are insensitive to temperature fluctuations. The batteries are easily miniaturized. Their big disadvantage is the high resistance at the interface of electrode and solid electrolyte, which leads to a low energy density and hinders rapid recharging. Although companies such as Hyundai or Toyota have been working on such batteries for years, there have been no concrete results to date. At the beginning of August reports were emerging that scientists at Tokyo Tech and Tohoku University had succeeded in reducing enormously the electrolyte/electrode interface resistance.

According to the Chinese news agency report, Qing Tao Energy Development is also manufacturing solid-state batteries with a low interface resistance, initially for selected high-end devices. The plant currently has a capacity of 0.1 gigawatt hours per year – a rather low value. From 2020, the company wants to build batteries that are suitable for use in e-cars, helping production grow to an expected 0.7 gigawatt hours. The batteries apparently have an energy density of more than 400 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). In comparison, lithium-ion batteries have values of only 90 to 250 Wh/kg.

Qing Tao Energy Development was founded by researchers at the renowned Tsinghua University in Beijing. According to the media report, the company has invested one billion yuan, i.e. more than 126 million euros, in production.