In 2016, Li-ion batteries (LIB) celebrated their silver jubilee, i.e. they have been on the market, virtually unchanged, for the last 25 years. While this anniversary marked and underscores their worldwide success and diffusion in consumer electronics and, more recently, electric vehicles (EV), the underlying technology begins to show its limitations in terms of safety, performance, form factor, and cost. Samsung's Firegate has particularly highlighted the risks that even large companies incur when flammable liquid electrolytes are used.
Solid-state electrolytes have the potential to address all of those points, particularly in the electric vehicle, wearable, and drones market. Their first application was in the 70's as primary batteries for pacemakers, where a sheet of Li metal is placed in contact with solid iodine. The two materials behave like a short-circuited cell and their reaction leads to the formation of a lithium iodide (LiI) layer at their interface. After the LiI layer has formed, a very small, constant current can still flow from the lithium anode to the iodine cathode for several years. Fast forward to 2011, and researchers from Toyota and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have claimed the discovery of a sulphide-base material that has the same ionic conductivity of a liquid electrolyte, something unthinkable up to a decade ago. Five years later, they were able to double that value, thus making solid-state electrolytes appealing also for high power applications and fast charging. This and other innovations have fuelled research and investments into new categories of materials that can triple current Li-ion energy densities.
Solid-state batteries can be made thinner, flexible, and contain more energy per unit weight than conventional Li-ion. In addition, the removal of liquid electrolytes can be an avenue for safer, long-lasting batteries. With a battery market currently dominated by Asian companies, European and US firms are striving to win this arms race that might, in their view, shift added value away from Japan, China, and South Korea.
This report covers the solid-state electrolyte industry by giving a 10-year forecast through 2029 in terms of numbers of devices sold, capacity production and market size, predicted to reach over $25B. A special focus is made on winning chemistries, with a full analysis of the 8 inorganic solid electrolytes and of polymer electrolytes. This is complemented with a unique IP landscape analysis that identifies what chemistry the main companies are working on, and how R&D in that space has evolved during the last 5 years.
Additionally, the report covers the manufacturing challenges related to solid electrolytes and how large companies (Toyota, Toshiba, etc.) try to address those limitations. A study of lithium metal as a strategic resource is also presented, highlighting the strategic distribution of this material around the world and the role it will play in solid-state batteries. Some chemistries will be quite lithium-hungry and put a strain on mining companies worldwide.
Finally, over 20 different companies are compared and ranked in terms of their technology and manufacturing readiness, with a watch list and a score comparison.
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Table of Contents
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- 1.1. A solid future for batteries?
- 1.2. Push and pull factors in Li-ion research
- 1.3. Why solid-state batteries?
- 1.4. Improvements in energy density
- 1.5. The battery trilemma
- 1.6. Technology roadmap according to Germany's NPE
- 1.7. Potential applications for solid-state batteries
- 1.8. Industry efforts on solid-state batteries
- 1.9. Solid-state battery value chain
- 1.10. Forecasts by application 2019-2029
- 1.11. Forecasts by chemistry 2019-2029
- 2.1. Why solid-state batteries?
- 2.2. Research efforts on solid-state batteries
- 2.3. Industry efforts - BMW
- 2.4. Industry efforts - Volkswagen
- 2.5. Industry efforts - Panasonic
- 2.6. Industry efforts - Hyundai
- 2.7. Industry efforts - Toyota
- 2.8. Industry efforts - Fisker Inc
- 2.9. Solid state battery collaborations / acquisitions by OEMs
- 2.10. What about cell makers? - Samsung SDI
- 2.11. What about cell makers? - CATL
- 2.12. Safety
- 2.13. Modern horror films are finding their scares in dead phone batteries
- 2.14. Safety aspects of Li-ion batteries
- 2.15. LIB cell temperature and likely outcome (fire or not)
- 2.16. Samsung's Firegate
- 2.17. Performance
- 2.18. Form factor
- 2.19. Cost
3. LI-ION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
- 3.1. Food is electricity for humans
- 3.2. What is a Li-ion battery (LIB)?
- 3.3. How can LIBs be improved?
- 3.4. Anode alternatives - lithium metal
- 3.5. Anode alternatives - Lithium titanate
- 3.6. Anode alternatives - carbon allotropes
- 3.7. Anode alternatives - silicon and alloying materials
- 3.8. Cathode alternatives - LFP
- 3.9. Cathode alternatives - LNMO
- 3.10. Cathode alternatives - NMC
- 3.11. Cathode alternatives - NCA
- 3.12. Cathode alternatives - Vanadium pentoxide
- 3.13. Cathode alternatives - LCPO
- 3.14. Cathode alternatives - sulphur
- 3.15. Cathode alternatives - oxygen
- 3.16. High energy cathodes require fluorinated electrolytes
4. SOLID-STATE BATTERIES
- 4.1. What is a Solid-State battery (SSB)?
- 4.2. History of solid-state batteries
- 4.3. Differences between liquid and solid electrolytes
- 4.4. How to design a good solid-state electrolyte
- 4.5. Lithium-ion batteries vs. Solid-State batteries
- 4.6. Solid electrolyte family tree - inorganic vs. polymer
- 4.7. Thin film vs. bulk solid-state batteries
- 4.8. Scaling of thin ceramic sheets
- 4.9. How safe are Solid-State batteries?
- 4.10. How can Solid-State batteries increase performance?
- 4.11. Academic views - University of Münster
- 4.12. Academic views - Giessen University
- 4.13. Academic views - Fraunhofer Batterien
- 4.14. How flexible and customisable are solid-state batteries?
- 4.15. Solid-state batteries for electric vehicles
- 4.16. Solid-state batteries for consumer electronics
5. SOLID INORGANIC ELECTROLYTES
- 5.1. Ranking of solid inorganic electrolytes for Li-ion
- 5.2. Types of inorganic electrolytes
- 5.3. Li-halides
- 5.4. Perovskite
- 5.5. Li-hydrides
- 5.6. NASICON-like
- 5.7. Ohara Corp.
- 5.8. Schott
- 5.9. Garnet
- 5.10. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- 5.11. Nagoya University
- 5.12. Argyrodite
- 5.13. LiPON
- 5.14. Ilika
- 5.15. LISICON-like
- 5.16. Hitachi Zosen
- 5.17. Solid-state electrolytes - Konan University
- 5.18. Tokyo Institute of Technology
6. SOLID POLYMER ELECTROLYTES
- 6.1. LiPo batteries, polymer-based batteries, polymeric batteries
- 6.2. Types of polymer electrolytes
- 6.3. Working principle of polymer electrolytes
- 6.4. Most common types of electrolytic polymers
- 6.5. Most common types of electrolytic polymers
- 6.6. Bolloré
- 6.7. Hydro-Québec
- 6.8. Solvay
- 6.9. IMEC
- 6.10. Polyplus
- 6.11. Applications of polymer-based batteries
- 6.12. Two opposed polymer-based battery strategies: bearish
- 6.13. Two opposed polymer-based battery strategies: bullish
7. INORGANIC VS. POLYMER ELECTROLYTES
- 7.1. Comparison between inorganic and polymer electrolytes
- 7.2. Advantages and issues of polymer electrolytes
- 7.3. Advantages and issues with inorganic electrolytes
- 7.4. Dendrites - ceramic fillers and high shear modulus are needed
- 7.5. Technology evaluation: polymer vs. LLZO vs. LATP vs. LGPS
- 7.6. Ford Motors likes garnets (LLZO)
- 7.7. Technology evaluation
8. COMPOSITE ELECTROLYTES
- 8.1. The best of both worlds?
- 8.2. Toshiba
9. SOLID-STATE ELECTROLYTES BEYOND LI-ION
- 9.1. Solid-state electrolytes in lithium-sulphur batteries
- 9.2. Solid-state electrolytes in lithium-air batteries
- 9.3. Solid-state electrolytes in metal-air batteries
- 9.4. Solid-state electrolytes in sodium-ion batteries
- 9.5. Solid-state electrolytes in sodium-sulphur batteries
10. SOLID-STATE BATTERY MANUFACTURING
- 10.1. The real bottleneck
- 10.2. The incumbent process: lamination
- 10.3. Are thin film electrolytes viable?
- 10.4. The issue with solid state thin film battery products today
- 10.5. Avenues for manufacturing
- 10.6. Toyota's approach
- 10.7. Hitachi Zosen's approach
- 10.8. Ilika's PVD approach
- 10.9. Sakti3's PVD approach
- 10.10. Planar Energy's approach
11. RAW MATERIALS: LITHIUM METAL
- 11.1. Why is lithium so important?
- 11.2. Where is lithium?
- 11.3. How to produce lithium
- 11.4. Where is lithium used
- 11.5. Question: how much Li do we need?
12. TECHNOLOGY AND MARKET READINESS
- 12.1. Technology and manufacturing readiness
- 12.2. Market readiness
- 12.3. Battery ambitions
- 12.4. Performance comparison: Electric Vehicles
- 12.5. Performance comparison: CEs & wearables
13. MARKET FORECASTS 2019-2029
- 13.1. Solid-state battery sales by units
- 13.2. Market penetration by 2029 - EVs
- 13.3. Market penetration by 2029 - drones
- 13.4. Market penetration by 2029 - wearables and CEs
- 13.5. Solid-state battery market for wearables and CEs
- 13.6. Market growth for solid-state batteries in wearables and CEs ($M)
- 13.7. Solid-state battery sales by units (EV)
- 13.8. Solid-state battery market for EVs ($B)
- 13.9. Solid-state battery market share for EVs in 2024 and 2029
- 13.10. Solid-state battery market for electric cars ($B)
- 13.11. Solid-state battery market for electric trucks ($B)
- 13.12. Solid-state battery market for electric buses ($M)
- 13.13. Solid-state battery production by GWh
14. PATENT ANALYSIS AROUND SOLID-STATE ELECTROLYTES
- 14.1. Overview of investigation
- 14.2. Total number of patents by electrolyte type and material
- 14.3. The SSE patent portfolio of key assignees
15. NON-COMPOSITE INORGANIC OR POLYMERIC SSE
- 15.1. Total number of patents by SSE material
- 15.2. Patent application fluctuations from 2014 to 2016
- 15.3. Legal status of patents in 2018 by SSE material
- 15.4. Key assignee's patent portfolio of non-composite SSEs
- 15.5. PEO: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.6. LPS: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.7. LLZO: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.8. LLTO: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.9. Lithium Iodide: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.10. LGPS: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.11. LIPON: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.12. LATP: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.13. LAGP: Patent Activity
- 15.14. Argyrodite: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.15. LiBH4: Patent Activity Trends
- 15.16. Conclusions
16. COMPANY PROFILES
- 16.1. 22 Companies covered in this report
- 16.2. Chemistry choices
- 16.3. Score comparison
- 16.4. Solid-state battery company watchlist
- 17.1. Electrochemistry definitions
- 17.2. What does 1 kilowatthour (kWh) look like?
- 17.3. Useful charts for performance comparison
- 17.4. Technology and manufacturing readiness