Solid State Batteries VS. Lithium-Ion Batteries
The European Federation for Transport and Environment states that the average carbon footprint of EVs is nearly three times less than that of petrol or diesel cars. As such, there is no denying that EVs are a step in the right direction for the future of green transportation. However, there is still much progress to be made. Batteries form one of the fundamental components of EVs and the production, discarding, and recycling steps of the current EV batteries—predominantly lithium-ion—remain challenging. The new solid-state technology presents a promising step forward as its higher density equates to fewer materials and, thus, fewer emissions involved in its life cycle.
SOLID STATE BATTERIES VS LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
According to a Brussels-based campaign group, Transport and Environment (T&E), a solid-state battery can store higher energy while using less materials and decrease an EV battery’s carbon footprint by 24%. Coupled with sustainably-sourced technologies could further reduce the carbon footprint of EV batteries up to 39%.
Recent mining methods, such as lithium extraction from geothermal wells, have GREATly lowered environmental impacts compared to more widely used techniques like the extraction of lithium from hard rock mined in Australia and refined in China. Although solid-state batteries require up to 35% more lithium than current lithium-ion batteries, they require far less graphite and cobalt, which are predominantly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, the said mining raises serious human rights concerns regarding dangerous working conditions and the use of child labor.
SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY BEYOND EV
Toyota, Ford, BMW, and Renault are among the players developing solid-state technology. Solid-state batteries are one of the most promising solutions for the future generation of batteries. Their high thermal stability makes them significantly safer and last longer than the traditional EV batteries. Beyond their EV use, solid-state batteries have the potential to be used in other applications, including medical devices as well as wearable devices. This could lead to a GREATer impact beyond mobility and ultimately contribute to the bigger picture of a greener world.
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