In 2016, Li-ion batteries (LIB) celebrated their silver jubilee, i.e. they have been on the market, virtually unchanged, for the last 25 years. While this anniversary marks and underscores their worldwide success and diffusion in consumer electronics and, more recently, electric vehicles (EV), the underlying technology begins to show its limitations in terms of safety, performance, form factor, and cost. Samsung's Firegate has particularly highlighted the risks that even large companies incur when flammable liquid electrolytes are used.
Solid-state electrolytes have the potential to address all of those points, particularly in the electric vehicle, wearable, and drones market. Their first application was in the 70's as primary batteries for pacemakers, where a sheet of Li metal is placed in contact with solid iodine. The two materials behave like a short-circuited cell and their reaction leads to the formation of a lithium iodide (LiI) layer at their interface.
After the LiI layer has formed, a very small, constant current can still flow from the lithium anode to the iodine cathode for several years. Fast forward to 2011, and researchers from Toyota and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have claimed the discovery of a sulphide-base material that has the same ionic conductivity of a liquid electrolyte, something unthinkable up to a decade ago. Five years later, they were able to double that value, thus making solid-state electrolytes appealing also for high power applications and fast charging. This and other innovations have fuelled research and investments into new categories of materials that can triple current Li-ion energy densities.
Solid-state batteries can be made thinner, flexible, and contain more energy per unit weight than conventional Li-ion. In addition, the removal of liquid electrolytes can be an avenue for safer, long-lasting batteries. With a battery market currently dominated by Asian companies, European and US firms are striving to win this arms race that might, in their view, shift added value away from Japan, China, and South Korea.
This report covers the solid-state electrolyte industry by giving a 10-year forecast through 2027 in terms of numbers of devices sold, capacity production and market size, predicted to reach over $7B. A special focus is made on winning chemistries, with a full analysis of the 8 inorganic solid electrolytes and of polymer electrolytes. Additionally, the report covers the manufacturing challenges related to solid electrolytes and how large companies (Toyota, Toshiba, etc.) try to address those limitations.
A study of lithium metal as a strategic resource is also presented, highlighting the strategic distribution of this material around the world and the role it will play in solid-state batteries. Some chemistries will be quite lithium-hungry and put a strain on mining companies worldwide.
Finally, 18 different companies are compared and ranked in terms of their technology and manufacturing readiness, with a watch list and a score comparison.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. A solid future for batteries?
1.2. Push and pull factors in Li-ion research
1.3. Why solid-state batteries?
1.4. The battery trilemma
1.5. Technology roadmap according to Germany's NPE
1.6. Potential applications for SSBs
1.7. Value chain
1.8. 1.8 Market forecast
2.1. Electrochemistry definitions
2.1.1. What does 1 kilowatthour (kWh) look like?
2.1.2. Useful charts for performance comparison
2.2. Why solid-state batteries?
2.2.1. Research efforts on SSBs
2.2.2. Industry efforts on SSBs
2.3.1. Samsung's Firegate
2.5. Form factor
3. LI-ION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
3.1. What is a Li-ion battery (LIB)?
3.2. How can LIBs be improved?
3.2.1. Anode alternatives
3.2.2. Cathode alternatives
4. SOLID-STATE BATTERIES
4.1. What is a Solid-State battery (SSB)?
4.2. History of SSBs
4.3. Differences between liquid and solid electrolytes
4.3.1. Lithium-ion batteries vs. Solid-State batteries
4.4. Thin film vs. bulk solid-state batteries
4.5. How safe are Solid-State batteries?
4.6. How can Solid-State batteries increase performance?
4.7. How flexible and customisable are SSBs?
4.8. SSBs for electric vehicles
4.9. SSBs for consumer electronics
5. SOLID-STATE ELECTROLYTES
5.1. Solid-state electrolytes
6. 6. SOLID-STATE BATTERY MANUFACTURING
6.1. How cheap can SSBs be?
6.2. The issue with solid state thin film battery products today
6.3.1. Toyota's approach
6.3.2. Hitachi Zosen's approach
6.3.3. Toshiba's approach
6.3.4. Ilika's PVD approach
6.3.5. Sakti3's PVD approach
6.3.6. Planar Energy's approach
7. KNOWN ISSUES
7.1. Issues with solid-state electrolytes
8. POLYMER-BASED ELECTROLYTES
8.1. Difference between solid-state and polymer electrolytes
8.2. Types of polymer electrolytes
8.3. Advantages and issues of polymer electrolytes
8.4. Comparison between inorganic and polymer electrolytes
8.5. Technology evaluation
8.6. Ford Motors likes garnets (LLZO)
8.7. Applications of LiPo batteries
8.7.1. Two opposed LiPo battery strategies: bearish
8.7.2. Two opposed LiPo battery strategies: bullish
9. SOLID-STATE AND POLYMER ELECTROLYTES BEYOND LI-ION
9.1.1. Solid-state electrolytes beyond Li-ion
10. RAW MATERIALS: LITHIUM METAL
10.1. Why is lithium so important?
10.2. Where is lithium?
10.3. How to produce lithium
10.4. Where is lithium used
10.5. Question: how much Li do we need?
11. TECHNOLOGY AND MARKET READINESS
11.1.1. Technology and manufacturing readiness
11.1.2. Market readiness
11.1.3. Market and technology readiness
11.2. Battery ambitions
11.3. Performance comparison: Electric Vehicles
11.4. Performance comparison: CEs & wearables
11.5. Solid-state deployment by units
11.5.1. Market penetration by 2027
11.6. Solid-state battery market for wearables and CEs
11.6.1. Solid-state battery market for wearables and CEs
11.7. Solid-state deployment by units (EV)
11.7.1. Solid-state battery market for EVs
11.7.2. Solid-state battery market for EVs
11.7.3. Technology choices for drones and EVs
11.8. Solid-state deployment by kWh
11.8.1. Solid-state deployment by kWh in 2022
11.8.2. Solid-state deployment by kWh in 2027
11.9. Other markets
11.10. Solid-state watch list
12. COMPANY PROFILES
12.1. Companies covered in this report
12.1.1. 24m Technologies
12.1.2. Blue Solutions
12.1.4. Flashcharge Batteries
12.1.5. Hitachi Zosen Corporation
12.1.6. Ilika Technologies
12.1.7. Johnson Battery Technologies
12.1.9. Planar Energy Devices
12.1.10. PolyPlus Battery Company
12.1.11. Prieto Battery Inc
12.1.16. Solid Power
12.2. Score comparison
13.1.1. Technology and manufacturing readiness
13.1.2. List of references
- 24m Technologies
- Blue Solutions
- Flashcharge Batteries
- Hitachi Zosen Corporation
- Ilika Technologies
- Johnson Battery Technologies
- Planar Energy Devices
- PolyPlus Battery Company
- Prieto Battery Inc
- Solid Power