- Solid-state batteries and wireless charging represent the next big technological improvements for electric vehicles. Nissan now says it will have a production EV with solid batteries in 2028.
- Longer range, shorter charging times and less chance of fire are promised, but questions about cost and lifespan need to be resolved.
- Other automakers, including Ford, BMW and Toyota, are all working on solid-state technology, with plans to introduce some version of the technology as early as 2025.
All month, Nissan is hosting an exhibition at its Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama, Japan, called Nissan Futures. As the name suggests, the display focuses on how Nissan is working on that elusive “future of sustainable mobility” concept. One of the core ideas to be discussed is “advanced solid state batteries.” According to one report, we could see a production Nissan electric vehicle with these next-generation suits by 2028.
Nissan’s plans include getting a pilot production plant producing the first solid-state batteries by 2025, completing initial application engineering by 2026, and then the vehicle application in 2028, according to a new report in Autocar. The carmaker is working with researchers at the University of Oxford on the project.
“We think we have something very special”
“We think we have something special and are in a group that leads the technology,” said Nissan’s senior vice president for research and development in Europe, David Moss. Autocar. “We want to lower the cost [compared with standard lithium-ion batteries] by 50 percent, to double the energy density and to provide three times the charging speed.”
Advanced solid-state batteries are also known as all-solid-state sodium batteries or ASSBs. As Moss explained to Autocar, ASSBs – which have no liquid electrolyte – are Nissan’s target, but the company will continue to develop lithium-ion batteries as it works on ASSBs. Moss tells Autocar that Nissan expects to introduce a next-gen lithium battery in the next few years and a cobalt-free li-ion battery in 2028. Moss said these cobalt-free li-ion packs could reduce battery costs by up to 65 percent.
Other automakers are working on solid-state batteries. Toyota is working with Panasonic on solid-state batteries that will be used in a hybrid in 2025. Last year, a startup called Solid Power began making solid-state test batteries for both Ford and BMW vehicles.
A chance for Nissan to move ahead
Nissan was once the leader in lower-cost, mass-market EVs, but the delayed rollout of the Ariya and the rise of a whole fleet of competing EVs have since squandered the edge the Leaf provided. Being early to market with a solid-state EV — which, as Moss said, could offer a long range with short recharge speeds — would put Nissan back on top, at least technologically. Moss tells Autocar that solid state suits will also offer Nissan engineers options.
“If you can put in energy three times faster, it’s no different than doing a [gasoline] vehicle?” he said Autocar. “We don’t know yet [about battery size]but we might have two sizes of batteries—one for very heavy users who need massive range, but if you can put energy like [gasoline]do you need the size?”