The race to develop a revolutionary battery has only just begun, with some technologies as the most promising. Among these is the solid electrolyte, which this week has received a significant boost thanks to advances in QuantumScape, and now Toyota’s announcement of the start of production in 2021.
This will be carried out by companies associated with Toyota, such as Mitsui Mining and Mitsui Kinzoku, working on building a facility where the first functional models will be produced. A plant that will be located in Saitama will have the capacity to produce tens of tons of solid electrolyte as early as 2021.
Another company that also works with the solid electrolyte in collaboration with Toyota is the oil company Idemitsu Kosan. They are currently installing the solid electrolyte production equipment at their factory located in Chiba prefecture. The goal is also to start production in 2021.
A relationship between petrochemical companies and the solid electrolyte that we will surely see regularly in the future is because the solidification of sulfides is required for the manufacture of these components, which is a specialty of the chemical metal industry.
This initial production will be used to study one of the most challenging sections of this alternative, such as its industrial escalation. For its production, ultra-dry environments are needed that at present means that the work is carried out in small cabins where the operators use integrated gloves to complete their work. That translates into the need to develop expensive facilities for its mass production once the technical challenges have been overcome.
A race to develop batteries with higher energy density, greater durability, and compatibility with ultra-fast recharges. A winning combination that the big battery companies have been involved in for decades, which appears to face its final and decisive phase of the investigation.