Charging duration and frequency are major concerns for people considering purchasing an EV, but that may soon be a problem of the past. New and improved batteries are on their way to the market, and they could pave the way for significant improvements for electric vehicles.
In early 2021, Chinese car company NIO unveiled its newest EVs, notably the ET7 sedan. The sedan featured a “150 kWh pack equipped with solid state batteries from Beijing WeLion New Energy Technology,” Scooter Doll wrote for Electrek.
Solid-state batteries are praised for their “non-volatile, lightweight, and energy-dense properties,” Doll said. This technology isn’t entirely new, but WeLion and NIO’s goal for large-scale utilization of these batteries is considered revolutionary. Doll proposed that “the sedan is expected to debut as NIO’s most technologically advanced offering to date.”
To showcase its capabilities, NIO’s founder, William Li, did a range test with an ET7 that had WeLion’s solid-state batteries. He was able to drive for 650 miles and still had 3% battery remaining after the range test, Doll reported. For comparison, the current bestselling electric vehicle, the Tesla Model Y, can drive around 310 miles before recharging.
WeLion’s solid-state batteries promise less frequent charging and an extended driving range. Widespread use of this technology could encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles.
According to Bloomberg, as of March 2023, “the typical U.S. battery range has quadrupled since 2011.” The outlet reported the average range for EVs sold in 2022 was 291 miles. Coupled with the new battery technology, the “range anxiety” that potential buyers might feel is starting to go away.
Solid-state batteries — safer, lighter, and long-lasting — are a step in the right direction. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and other car manufacturers are pushing the boundaries to advance and integrate solid-state batteries into their vehicles, promising a future of more efficient and eco-friendly transportation.
Many are eager about the possibilities of semi-solid-state and solid-state batteries.
“Fast-charging [is a] game-changer,” said one Electrek user.
“It’s only a start,” commented another. “True solid state batteries will change everything over the next decade.”
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