It looks like Fisker has a trick up its sleeve. This electric-car start-up has just filed patents for a battery technology that could potentially charge a vehicle in one minute. Fisker claims its revolutionary solid-state batteries could charge its next-generation electric cars to around 804 kilometres (500 miles) of drive time and deliver 2.5 times the energy density of typical lithium-ion batteries, Autoblog reports. Solid-state batteries have been heralded as “the future of battery technology” for years because, as anyone with a smartphone can tell you, current batteries are really lagging behind other technologies. Conventional batteries use a liquid organic solvent to transport charged particles back and forth between electrodes while charging and discharging. In solid-state batteries, this electrolyte is a solid, which has numerous advantages. Solid-state batteries mean a reduced risk of leaking or igniting. Theres also virtually no degradation meaning the batteries last indefinitely longer without losing their hold. Crucially, the solid-state electrolyte also allows for greater power density. This breakthrough marks the beginning of a new era in solid-state materials and manufacturing technologies, said Dr Fabio Albano, vice president of battery systems at Fisker Inc, according to the Mail Online. We are addressing all of the hurdles that solid-state batteries have encountered on the path to commercialisation, such as performance in cold temperatures; the use of low cost and scalable manufacturing methods; and the ability to form bulk solid-state electrodes with significant thickness and high active material loadings. Fisker is a relatively young start-up created by Danish-born designer and former Tesla consultant Henrik Fisker. Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker in April 2008, alleging that they had agreed to a contract to gain access to Tesla’s design concepts and trade secrets. Tesla lost the case and ended up paying over $1 million in legal fees. It’s worth considering that this technology is still some distance away from becoming a reality filing a patent doesn’t mean the tech is actually up and running. The technology is currently marred by problems such as low electrode current density, limited materials availability, and a hefty price tag. Lots of big names in automotives and tech, such as Toyota and Dyson, are also currently working on solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, yet nobody appears to be any closer. Nevertheless, Fisker remains brilliantly bold. It also says the new battery technology will be shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and could be mass produced as early as 2023. That means there could be solid-state battery-powered cars on the road in 6 years.
IFL Science, 16 November 2017 ; http://www.iflscience.com