With the development of the electric vehicle race, manufacturers are increasingly looking for ways to gain an edge over competitors.
And here, as they say, all means are good: starting from rather serious investments in infrastructure (creating a dense network of exchange stations for quick-change batteries), and to creating hybrid models that quite successfully combine the advantages of both types of traction, manufacturers are trying to occupy each, even the smallest niche in the hope that it is their project that will determine the future of electric transport. Recently, for example, it was revealed that BMW and Ford have teamed up to work together on solid-state battery technology.
BMW and Ford
Two automotive giants have decided to use the technology of the Colorado-based startup Solid Power in their products: BMW and Ford are planning to launch the production of electric vehicles on solid-state batteries. Thanks to an investment of $ 130 million, it is expected that 100Ah prototypes will be produced for testing on electric vehicles by 2025, and the technology is planned to be mass-produced by 2030. Both Ford and BMW are confident that using solid-state batteries will reduce the cost of producing electric cars, motorcycles and scooters, while increasing the range.
Solid Power Batteries
By using cells based on sulphide ceramics, Solid Power batteries have 50% higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries currently in use. In addition, the manufacturer claims that the solid state electrolyte is not subject to fire. After the production of solid-state batteries reaches a full cycle, its cost is expected to decrease by 40% compared to lithium-ion batteries.
According to the agreements reached, Solid Power will start developing solid-state batteries for electric vehicles in 2022. The upcoming electric models of investor brands will be developed to take advantage of the new technology, while those already known, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric crossover, or the upcoming F-150 Lightning, will use lithium-ion batteries. The same applies to BMW models: the i4 sedan and the iX crossover, but the two-wheeled electric BMW models may well use solid-state sources.
Given the rather high expectations of the modern market in terms of power, now electric motorcycle manufacturers are forced to use large lithium-ion batteries, which makes most modern models heavy and reduces the range, practically leveling the advantages of electric traction. An excellent example is the Energica Ego platform, which boasts 145 horsepower, but weighs more than 270 kg at the same time.
BMW, which has several electric motorcycle and scooter concepts in its arsenal, has the broadest potential to test the new Solid Power power sources.
If, thanks to their use, it is possible to increase the range, while simultaneously reducing the weight and cost of electric cycles, this will benefit both the consumer and the manufacturer. Hopefully, this technology will soon appear in production models as the EV race is just picking up the pace.
Post scriptum: Considering the relationship between Ford and Harley Davidson on the issue of electric bikes (details here), we may expect even more collaboration.