It's safe to say that solid-state battery technology is the holy grail of electric vehicle development. Most of the major automotive manufacturers are working on developing it, and while most of them have set a goal of having them in vehicles and on sale before the decade is out, they haven't given a lot of specifics.
Nissan, however, is willing to be a little more candid. The Japanese automaker on Friday announced that it expects to have a pilot factory producing solid-state EV batteries by 2024. Now, that's not full-scale production, but it's a big step in the right direction.
It's not just its timeline that Nissan is being candid about. It's also talking about economics. Specifically, Nissan expects that with the advent of solid-state batteries, it can hit an extremely low $75-per-kilowatt-hour figure by 2028, putting its EVs at or at least incredibly close to price parity with internal combustion-powered vehicles. Further, it thinks that with a little more development, that number could drop further to $65 per kilowatt-hour.
For comparison's sake, in 2021, the industry average for cost per kWh hit a new low of $132, according to Bloomberg. Those numbers are likely to go up, given the increased cost of materials, so a drop of a little less than half is nothing to sneeze at and could open up EVs to a whole new class of buyers.
Solid-state batteries have other advantages, too. They're likely to be around twice as energy-dense as current lithium-ion cells, which means that, theoretically, automakers could use half the cells as current vehicles to achieve the same range. That represents a massive weight saving, and as any Lotus fan will tell you, reducing weight will improve every aspect of a vehicle's performance. The batteries will be able to charge more quickly too.
All of this solid-state news is genuinely exciting, but let's not forget that Nissan hasn't been on the bleeding edge of consumer EV tech for a long time now. For example, with its recently launched Ariya SUV, it introduced its first liquid-cooled EV battery pack, which nearly every other company in the industry did years ago.
Do you think that Nissan will meet its own timeline? Do you think it has the money and engineering muscle to pull off solid-state battery production at scale? If not, which company currently developing solid-state batteries do you think will be first to market? Let us know in the comments.