Battery technology is advancing at a seemingly unstoppable pace.
Like these new batteries from the German electronics manufacturer Titanium, Bosch. Not only can they last longer, but they can also see electric vehicles go twice as far on a single charge.
Welcome to the exciting world of solid state lithium-ion batteries.
The unique advantages of these batteries
So, before we get into the heart of the matter, it’s probably worth learning the difference between liquid and solid electrolytic batteries.
The battery technology you are most familiar with uses a liquid electrolyte. These batteries can be found anywhere from laptops, mobile phones to smartwatches. But they have several key drawbacks.
Wet batteries require each cell to be packed in a tight sealed metal case. They are essential for safety, but reduce energy density and add weight and size.
They are also (relatively) expensive to make due to the complex and intricate manufacturing process used to make them and the fact that most lithium-ion batteries use cobalt oxide, an expensive and environmentally toxic chemical compound, in the cathode.
There’s also the issue of security. Lithium-ion cells are prone to explosion and overheating under adverse conditions. For example, if the cells are overheated or overloaded, the pressure inside them may increase. You can see the results in the video below. To make matters worse, the liquid used in these batteries is highly flammable.
Finally, because each lithium-ion battery must be packaged in a safe, sealed manner, they cannot be made small enough for many applications.
But these new batteries from Bosch don’t have these problems for a simple reason: Instead of using a liquid electrolyte, they use a nanostructured solid polymer electrolyte.
For a moment, if possible, solid polymer electrolytes really very cool.
Because they do not contain liquid, they do not need to be placed in secure, hermetically sealed containers. As a result, solid polymer electrolytic cells can be made as thin as 0.64 mm. They can also be stacked to create large battery packs.