How solid-state EV batteries could cut emissions by up to 39%

Solid-state batteries have the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of EV batteries by up to 39% compared to liquid lithium-ion batteries, according to the Brussels-based campaign group Transport and Environment (YOU).

Transport & Environment (T&E) commissioned research from Minviro, a London-based company specializing in the life cycle analysis of raw materials. Minviro compared emerging solid-state technology to current battery chemistries.

Solid-state batteries are expected to be used in electric vehicles from 2025, and Ford and BMW will start testing them in late 2022.

T&E summarizes the study conducted by Minviro:

The analysis compares an NMC-811 solid-state battery, which is one of the most promising chemistries under development, to current lithium-ion technology. Solid-state technology uses solid ceramic material instead of liquid electrolytes to carry electrical current, which also makes batteries lighter, faster to charge, and ultimately less expensive.

Cecilia Mattea, Head of Clean Vehicles at T&E, Explain:

Electric vehicles are already much better for the planet than burning oil, and the carbon footprint of batteries is shrinking every year. But solid-state technology is a game changer because their higher energy density means far fewer materials, and therefore far fewer emissions, are needed to make them.

A solid-state battery can store more energy with less material and can reduce the carbon footprint of an EV battery by 24%. And if sustainably sourced technology and materials are used, it could reduce the carbon footprint of EV batteries by up to 39%. T&E continues:

New mining methods, including the extraction of lithium from geothermal wells, have significantly lower climate impacts than more commonly used sources such as hard rock lithium mined in Australia and refined in China.

Solid-state batteries require up to 35% more lithium than current lithium-ion battery technology, but they use far less graphite and cobalt, which are mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

MEPs and EU governments are currently negotiating the final text of the EU proposal Battery Regulations, which would require lithium to be sourced responsibly, while protecting human rights and the environment. The battery will also need to be recycled.

Photo: solid battery

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