Are Quasi Solid-State Batteries the Next Leap in EV Innovation?

Factorial Energy's breakthrough in quasi solid-state technology promises lighter, more powerful electric vehicle batteries: A company engineer explains.

Geoff Giordano

June 12, 2024

3 Min Read
Factorial Energy images
Clockwise from top left: Factorial’s 100+Ah cell; senior application engineer Célestine Singer; assemby of cathode, solid electrolyte, and anode layers.Factorial Energy

The future of electric mobility will necessarily be populated by far more battery options than the traditional lithium ion (LI) variety. Quasi solid-state batteries are one solution to answer growing demand for more powerful storage solutions featuring higher energy density.

Quasi solid-state batteries “enable the use of pure lithium metal as anode material, which has a significantly higher specific capacity than graphite,” explained Célestine Singer, senior application engineer at Factorial Energy. Singer will present her insights at the Battery Show Europe from June 18-20 in Stuttgart.

Factorial, based on Woburn, MA, expanded to Germany in 2023 to better serve its European automotive partners. Backed by development partners Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and Hyundai-Kia, Factorial’s quasi solid-state battery technology is helping set a new course in the automotive industry, evolving rapidly from the research phase toward market integration, the company said.

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Fitting neatly into current production lines, quasi solid-state batteries are easing the transition from LI technologies.

Quickly moving to market

With conventional LI battery technology reaching its limit, according to Factorial, the need for lighter batteries capable of longer range is more than apparent.

“Semi-solid batteries are the next step in evolution of next-gen batteries, with faster speed to market (2024-2026) due to similarities with LIBs and common raw materials, but much higher energy and power density and lightweight,” Singer explained.

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Factorial has made its mark by bringing its semi-solid 100 Ah car batteries to market.

“As we can leverage LIB production lines, our technology can drop in on existing gigafactories, which accelerates the market integration even further (and) makes it more attractive to enter the market within the next few years compared to all-solid-state batteries,” Singer said. “Some recent announcements on the commercialization of semi solid-state batteries were made by Nio and Ford.”

Clear need and benefits

With EV market size projected to reach $400 billion by 2030, Singer said, solid-state batteries “will be replacing some of the lithium-ion battery technology,” which in 2023 she said constituted 65.2% of the market.

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Semi solid-state batteries “can reach gravimetric energy densities between 380-500 Wh/kg and 800-1100 Wh/l,” Singer noted. Using pure lithium metal as anode material, “Factorial’s cells can reach much higher volumetric and gravimetric energy densities.”

Factorial presented its 40 Ah cell with solid electrolyte in April 2021 and, in a July 2021 report, demonstrated a capacity retention rate of 97.3% after 675 cycles at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). In 2022, the company began building a development and manufacturing facility in the Boston suburb of Methuen and also announced operations in South Korea and Japan. And last year, Factorial opened its German arm in Munich.

“We will be on the ground floor as the European Commission considers new regulations around battery sustainability, including the Battery Passport and Green Deal initiatives, to accelerate EV adoption,” said Factorial Energy CEO Siyu Huang. “The local presence will keep us in close proximity to our automotive partners and put us in a position to maneuver legislative policies in Europe.”

Singer will deliver her presentation on scaling next-generation solid-state batteries at the Battery Show Europe, which runs from June 18-20.

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About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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