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IPFS News Link • Transportation

$45K EV smuggles a 620-mile solid-state battery out of the lab

•, By C.C. Weiss

The high-density lithium batteries we enjoy today were an absolute technological revolution. They blew rechargeable nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries out of the water, offering such a leap in energy storage by weight and volume that suddenly all sorts of things became possible.

Smartphones, all-day laptops, drones, electric cars, skateboards, motorcycles, scooters, electric aircraft, eVTOLs, ebikes... Suddenly, you could carry enough energy in a safe, reliable, high-input, high-output format that all these ideas became (or are becoming) world-changing products at an epic scale.

But of course, as amazing as anything is in the modern world, we quickly find the new limits and start getting annoyed about themSolid-state batteries are among a number of contenders for the title of "next big thing" in the battery world, promising another leap forward in energy density. Their solid electrolytes theoretically allow them to store much more energy per weight and volume than the liquids in conventional batteries, as well as being potentially safer and operating much better in sub-zero temperatures.

The issues delaying solid-state packs from mass adoption have been around power density – how hard you can run them and how fast you can charge them – as well as cost, durability and cycle life; the range of boxes you need to tick for a useful mass-market battery is pretty crazy. Still, EV manufacturers are very eager to get these things happening; Honda, Nissan and Toyota in particular have oriented their future plans around the idea.

But China has taken a big bite out of getting these things up and running right now, at ludicrous Chinese scale and prices. The debut comes as part of the all-new IM L6 sedan, a rolling engineering lab loaded with the most bleeding-edge technologies IM – and parent company SAIC – have at their disposal.

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