Company creates new type of battery, claiming it’s safer and more energy efficient

Company creates new type of battery, claiming it’s safer and more energy efficient

August 19, 2019
Marcia González

By removing flammable liquid electrolytes, Solid Power provides an inherently safer battery with a simplified cell architecture

Batteries aren’t something you think about frequently, unless you hear about cell phones exploding on the news. Now, one Colorado company called Solid Power is changing the battery game.

Solid Power says it’s making non-lithium ion batteries that are safer and more energy efficient by using a solid-state electrolyte.

“In a lithium ion, you have what is a liquid electrolyte that goes back and forth,” Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell explains. “But with a Solid Power, you are replacing that liquid electrolyte with a conducting material.”

That ultimately means a solid-state battery won’t explode. It also ends up weighing a lot less.

We rely on lithium batteries to power our cellphones, laptops and electric vehicles. Campbell says lithium ion batteries are perfectly safe, but they have the potential to become unsafe.

“In solid state, you can still fail or short circuit, but it’s very benign,” Campbell says. “Essentially, you just have a dead battery, and it won’t catch on fire or explode.”

Big name companies such as BMW, Hyundai and Ford will be using the solid power batteries, and Campbell says, the military will be, too.

“Our military is increasing and electrifying our troops’ tens of pounds of batteries into combat, so if I can reduce the weight burden of those batteries and make them safer, all the better,” Campbell says.

When it comes to price, with every new technology it’s going to cost more upfront. Campbell says as demand grows, then the cost of that battery system goes down.

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