To overcome drivers’ "range anxiety" over being able to charge up, the EV battery will need to safer, cheaper, faster charging, and have a high-energy density for greater range.
The most significant barrier to the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is so-called “range anxiety”, according to a new study.
However, ongoing and significant improvements in battery technology will pave the way for an installed EV base of 100 million by 2028, finds global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, in its Electric Vehicle Battery and Charging Technologies analysis report.
To alleviate range anxiety, the electric vehicle battery (EVB) will need to safer, cheaper, faster charging, and have a high-energy density for greater range. Continued advancements in cell technology will ease anxiety and allow EVs to gain traction substantially, notes ABI.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the current standard for EVs, yet they have short lifecycles and have a history of overheating.
“Recent research around lithium-based chemistries has revolved around using different lithium-based batteries to provide better fire resistance, quicker charges, and longer lifespans,” said James Hodgson, principal analyst at ABI Research.
While the Li-ion battery will continue to progress, it will be solid-state and lithium-silicon technologies that will be the real EVB game changer.
“Lithium-silicon and solid-state are the future EVB technologies that will improve performance, hold more energy, and last longer at a lower cost”
Investments from OEMs like Volkswagen, BMW Group, and Daimler, have been made in solid-state technology and lithium-silicon technology companies, including QuantumScape, Solid Power, Enevate and Sila Nanotechnologies.
These investments highlight how important these technologies will be for the future of EVBs, said ABI.
Between 2023 and 2025, expect continually increasing silicon in batteries to the point where developments will enable silicon-dominant anodes. Given the research taking place in lithium-silicon batteries and the increasing percentage of silicon in EV batteries,
According to ABI Research, this is the next logical step. Silicon-dominant batteries would likely enable energy densities of up to 400 Wh/kg by 2025. Most vehicles using this technology will likely have charging powers of 300 kW+.
Silicon dominant anodes will be the primary solution until 2026 – at the earliest - when solid-state battery architectures will start to be deployed and reach commercialisation.
Solid-state batteries will enable energy densities of at least 500 Wh/kg, offer 500 kW+ charging power, ABI predicts.
“Lithium-silicon and solid-state are the future EVB technologies that will improve performance, hold more energy, and last longer at a lower cost,” added Hodgson.
“The addition of silicon alone over the next seven years will grow the EV installed base from eight million in 2019 to 40 million in 2025, as consumers’ range anxiety slowly eases.”
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