Factorial Energy ($240M to develop transformational solid-state lithium-ion battery for EV)

Factorial Energy, an American cleantech company founded in 2021, develops solid-state lithium ion batteries that are stable, safe, and have a  high energy density using its innovative solid polymer electrolytes. Factorial Energy’s batteries have a 20% to 50% higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which directly translates to a greater driving range of EVs.

Challenges: lithium ion battery

The increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) as a means of reducing carbon emissions has brought to light one of the biggest challenges facing the industry: lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are essential for EVs as they store and release electrical energy, making them a key component of the vehicle's powertrain.

Solid-state lithium-ion batteries are a type of next-generation battery technology that offers several advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries for EVs. Solid-state batteries replace the liquid electrolyte used in traditional lithium-ion batteries with a solid-state electrolyte, which can provide higher energy density, faster charging times, longer cycle life, and improved safety.

Here are some of the potential advantages of solid-state lithium-ion batteries for EVs:

  • Higher energy density: Solid-state batteries can offer a higher energy density, which stores more energy in the same amount of space, resulting in longer driving ranges for EVs and lighter battery packs, thereby enhancing vehicle efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Faster charging times: Solid-state batteries can withstand higher charging rates without overheating or degrading than traditional lithium-ion batteries. This could reduce charging times for EVs, making them more practical and convenient for daily use.
  • Longer cycle life: Solid-state batteries can have a longer cycle life than traditional lithium-ion batteries because they degrade less over time. This extends the lifespan of EV batteries and reduces the need for costly replacements.
  • Improved safety: Solid-state batteries are less flammable than traditional lithium-ion batteries that use a liquid electrolyte which can catch fire if the battery is damaged or overheats. Solid-state batteries make EVs safer and reduce the risk of battery-related fires or explosions.

Although solid-state lithium-ion batteries have several advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries, there are still several technical and manufacturing challenges that need to be overcome before they can be commercialized for use in EVs:

  • Electrolyte conductivity: Solid-state electrolytes are less conductive than liquid electrolytes. This limits the rate at which ions can move between the cathode and anode, thereby affecting the battery's performance.
  • Electrode-electrolyte interface: Solid-state batteries have a less stable electrode-electrolyte interface than  traditional lithium-ion batteries, which affects the battery's energy density, cycle life, and safety.
  • Manufacturing scalability: Solid-state battery production processes are more complex and expensive than traditional lithium-ion battery manufacturing. It is challenging to scale up the production of solid-state batteries to meet the demands of the automotive industry.
  • Cost: Solid-state batteries are currently more expensive to manufacture than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Reducing the cost of manufacturing solid-state batteries is crucial for making them commercially viable for use in EVs.

Despite these challenges, several companies, such as QuantumScape, Solid Power, and 24M Technologies, are actively developing and improving solid-state lithium-ion batteries. The technical and manufacturing challenges of solid-state batteries are expected to be addressed, and they can become a viable option for powering EVs in the future.

Factorial Energy Technology

Factorial Energy has developed solid-state lithium ion batteries that are stable, safe, and have high energy density using its innovative solid polymer electrolytes. The solid-state batteries have a 20% to 50% higher energy density than standard lithium-ion batteries, which directly translates to a greater driving range of EVs. The solid-state batteries can be produced by using the existing mature production lines of traditional lithium-ion batteries, thereby reducing the production cost.

Factorial Energy solid battery

The diagram below depicts a typical structure of Factorial Energy’s solid-state lithium-ion battery.

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