Mass solid-state battery production announced by largest lithium refiner as SAIC plans an EV with solid-state cells for 2025
Ganfeng, the largest lithium mining company in the world's biggest EV market, made an announcement that its new solid-state battery plant has started mass production of the first generation of such cells. With up to 260 Wh/kg energy density, these use an oxide electrolyte and a solid diaphragm which is the reason that Ganfeng calls it a solid-state battery, although it seemingly still has liquid components so a hybrid battery could be the more appropriate phrasing.
The important fact, however, is that the battery packs are now in mass production, after passing puncture and deformation, as well as the 180 degrees Celsius (365 degrees Fahrenheit) hot-box tests with flying colors, and that is the big promise this type of battery holds. The first electric cars with Ganfeng's solid-state diaphragm battery have been running pilots in a taxi fleet with 50 Dongfeng E70 models since last year and apparently those real-world tests have been deemed successful.
At the time, the project's manager at Dongfeng said that the pilot run will serve as a testbed for expanding production further:
Solid-state batteries are the most promising next-generation power battery technology due to their advantages of high specific energy, high safety, and easy recycling, which can effectively solve the safety problems of traditional lithium batteries, namely inability to balance performance and energy density. This time, through the cooperation between Dongfeng and Ganfeng, we have broken through the first real mass production of solid-state batteries and achieved demonstration operations.
While Gangfeng Lithium's solid-state battery factory was scheduled to start with 10 GWh annual production capacity, the initial output is set at 4 GWh and will be slowly creeping up with applications like "power batteries, energy storage and other fields" at first. What's more important, Ganfeng said that its second generation of solid-state battery with high-nickel cathode and up to 420 Wh/kg energy density has passed its automotive application tests, too.
In the meantime, China's biggest automaking conglomerate SAIC announced that it will have an electric vehicle with solid-state battery on the road as soon as 2025, though it remained light on specifics. As many other automakers which announced solid-state battery development goals, SAIC is ramping up its research investments in the field, after entering a partnership with a local startup to spearhead the task last year. At the time, the two companies said that they are aiming at safer solid-state batteries with 600-mile range and increased lifespan that would be able to hit 4C charging speeds of about 15 minutes.