Electric vehicles still have less than 10 percent market share in Europe -- and are just a tiny fraction of worldwide sales -- but automakers and suppliers are already spending billions to develop solid-state batteries, the next generation of technology that promises faster charging, better energy storage and improved safety.
Automakers have offered various dates for when solid-state batteries will appear. The Chinese EV maker Nio has perhaps been the most aggressive, announcing that it will offer the technology by the end of 2022.
Toyota and VW have invested heavily in solid-state batteries, and both say they will have vehicles with the technology on the road in 2025. Others are looking further ahead, including Stellantis (2026), BMW (2026), Daimler (2028), Renault-Nissan (after 2026) and Hyundai (no earlier than 2030).
Solid-state batteries will be a key driver in bringing down battery pack prices and making EVs both profitable and affordable. Bloomberg NEF says that solid-state batteries, produced at scale, can be made at 40 percent of the cost of current lithium ion batteries.
But independent experts are cautious, noting that there are a number of daunting technical hurdles yet to be cleared, including high operating temperatures, electrolyte durability and manufacturing challenges.