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Solid-state batteries to gain traction in terms of adoption in the coming years

The overall penetration rate of solid-state batteries across the globe is expected to be 1.7 percent and 8.4 percent by 2025 and 2030 respectively, according to an estimation by CITIC Securities.

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Adobe Stock via EE Power
Lithium batteries with liquid electrolyte are widely getting adopted in almost every consumer and industrial applications for energy storage at present, say from tiny ear pods and power tools to large EVs and grid-scale BESS systems. However, the technology is faced with certain limitations, such as energy density, lifespan and fire safety, which continues to play spoilsport in preventing mass electrification in various end-use applications.

Solid-state batteries (SSBs) are generally considered as the "next-generation" evolution of the battery technology, which are expected to overcome the above-mentioned limitations of liquid-electrolyte batteries, with claimed advantages in terms of higher energy density and enhanced safety.

In this backdrop, a team of analysts at CITIC Securities recently published their research note that throws much-awaited insights on the emerging roadmap and market adoption for solid-state battery technology in global markets.

The team claims that the technology's market adoption is expected to happen sooner than we had previously expected, started this year itself, in high-end applications with lower price sensitivity and higher safety requirements, namely medical, aerospace, and even more premium new energy vehicles (NEVs).

By 2025, the adoption will extend to domestic energy storage, drones and consumer electronics. With costs expected to come down further, mass adoption of SSBs can happen in NEV and energy storage segments, the analysts claim. 
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They add that the overall penetration rate of solid-state batteries across the globe is expected to be 1.7 percent and 8.4 percent by 2025 and 2030 respectively. Global capacities could reach 38 GWh in 2025 and 509 GWh in 2030.

Taking a big leap in this picture is China, which is reported to have 10 GWh of SSB capacity, with more than 128 GWh being planned around 2025, according to CITIC Securities.

"Solid-state batteries have many advantages, such as stronger safety, higher energy density, and more extreme technology, and are in line with the future development direction of high-capacity rechargeable batteries. As a transition route, semi-solid state batteries are already on the eve of mass production", notes the report.

The solid-liquid hybrid form of electrolytes used in semi-solid-state batteries is said to have higher levels of coincidences with the battery material supply chain and manufacturing of existing lithium-ion batteries, therefore presenting an easier means of transition to the battery industry.

The industrialization of semi-solid-state batteries is expected to happen much earlier, starting this year in large volumes, the analysts suggest, cities a slew of announcements from SSB developers.
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Umicore sets up prototyping center for solid-state battery in Belgium 

Umicore opened a solid-state battery material prototyping facilities in Olen, Belgium. The company claims that the center is one of the world's largest and most advanced, which will expand and accelerate innovation and technology development in the field of solid-state battery technology.

"With the industrialization of semi-solid-state batteries and the development of EVs, the future of all-solid-state batteries looks promising. In terms of material systems, it is expected that the cathode material will transition from high-nickel ternary to lithium-rich manganese-based, and the anode will transition from silicon-carbon to metallic lithium".

Nevertheless, cost will continue to be the determining factor for the prospects of SSBs. The analysts opine that cost reduction and resolving technical limitations of SSBs will be critical for their mass adoption in this decade.

For instance, the current cost of oxide semi-solid batteries and sulfide semi-solid batteries is about RMB 0.76 yuan ($0.106) per Wh and 0.86 yuan per Wh respectively, which is significantly costlier than liquid lithium-ion batteries, according to CITIC Securities.

On the investment front, CITIC Securities recommends investors to focus on those companies with leading solid-state electrolyte R&D and industrialization processes; having adequate production capacity layout; and those expected to take the lead in achieving half-scale production of SSBs. 

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Georgia Tech researchers find aluminum-foil anodes effective for solid-state batteries  

A group of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed aluminum foil-based anode for all-solid state batteries with higher energy density and greater stability.
Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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