BMW Expresses Confidence In Solid-State Battery Tech

FEB 20 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 58

Here comes BMW up the battery backstretch!

There’s a race on in the electric vehicle world. One where a solid-state battery awaits at the finish line instead of the traditional checkered flag. It’s a pretty crowded field, with entries from teams ranging from Fisker to Toyota, and one crew in particular is sounding confident about standing on that top podium step and achieving that coveted first mover status. Yup, it’s those Bavarian bad boys at BMW.

Read Also: Hyundai Begins Small-Scale Production Of Solid -State Batteries

Dr. Ian Robertson

At least, that’s what soon-to-retire top marketing exec, Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc), would have us believe. He tells Autocar, which had published an overview of the British-born boss’ career a few months ago, that he’s confident about where the German automaker is at with regard to development of the technology. We’re not so sure.

Last we heard, BMW had teamed up with Solid Power and, separately, was working toward a 2019 opening of its Battery Cell Competence Center to develop new energy storage technology and assemble some packs for production vehicles. They haven’t recently announced a timeline for introducing the tech, but a year ago, it had named 2026 as when we would see solid state batteries in its cars. In this latest interview, Robertson himself had said, “Solid state batteries are already working in the lab, but bringing them to production is proving incredibly difficult,” from which we infer that they aren’t exactly on the brink of commercial production.

Meanwhile, Hyundai has said it’s already begun some small-scale production, and relatively tiny Fisker showed off one of its flexible solid state cells alongside its eMotion at the Consumers Electronic Show (CES) in early January. For its part, Toyota, which also partners with BMW on battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology is reportedly readying the release of a car with solid state batteries in 2022.

Really, until someone actually demonstrates a solid state battery with performance superior to today’s lithium cells, it’s anybody’s guess who will be the first. Maybe it will be BMW, but despite the bravado from Mr. Robertson, it seems unlikely.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Battery Tech, BMW

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58 Comments on "BMW Expresses Confidence In Solid-State Battery Tech"

newest oldest most voted
ffbj

Ok, sure, whatever. Maybe they can win something. Certainly they can’t compete with VW for vaporware, and concept evs, so SS batteries, why not.

dan

What’s it with the trollbois? It’s always the same comments on every article. Get lost already.

Nick

Look to yourself for improvement before you judge others.

I think ffbj’s comment added to the discussion with a bit of healthy scepticism.

BMW has shown a relatively ineffective approach to making EVs for some time. This pie in the sky vaporware they’re pitching sounds pretty weak.

Tesla has shown you don’t need future magic batteries to make compelling EVs. I hope BMW gets the memo.

MikeG

Chill, dude. There are plenty of people trolling at IEV but the comments by ffbj and Nick don’t fall into that category.

dinhh68

today bmw made a bid to buy Duracell… the leader in the industry for flashlight batteries

Nick

Haha!

I submit to your witty repartee.

ffbj

Thanks. Hey I’m a healthy skeptic, who knew?

Well, you are what you eat! So, eat well! (At the EV News Trough!)

Pushmi-Pullyu

I think Ffbj sums up pretty well the “glass half empty” view. The discussion also needs the “glass half full” view, but his comments are entirely appropriate.

If BMW isn’t predicting their cars will have solid-state batteries until 2026, then it’s very unlikely they will be the first to market a PEV with a solid state battery pack.

ffbj

I think Toyota said much the same a couple months back, as to bring out a ss battery. Perhaps my comment was a bit cavalier, but not entirely uncalled for.

Mint

Solid state for <$50k EVs is highly unlikely to happen before 2026.

Assuming they are superior in safety, density, etc, they will have taken over most of the consumer electronics battery market before struggling to match the <$100/kWh price of competing EV cells in 2025 and beyond.

Hart Ed

I just got word from friends at Tesla that they have agreed to sit still, do nothing to advance their technology until BMW can catch ups. This is going to work out great.

Christian

They have to stand still until BMW is more advanced so that they can claim to “win” the race 🙂

Pushmi-Pullyu

Likewise, the guys at Ionic Materials assure me that they’ll stop trying to commercialize their solid state batteries, to ensure BMW will have a clear field with no competition until 2026. 😉

Dav8or

Oh that explains why their production lines are pretty much sitting still. They’re waiting for others to catch up! How generous of them.

TahoeBear

It’s always 5 years away…
“Keep buying our brand cuz in 5 years…”

SJC

Solid state may be safer but not all that much more energy dense nor cheaper.

Djoni

It sum up all I know about it!

Maybe with a better C rate of charge/discharge.

Not terrific, but welcome except that if it’s not cheaper, it’s not going to happen anyway.

Hart Ed

Correct. To be clear, Tesla is driving down the cost of “good enough” LiIon technology at an horrific pace…making it hard for any new technology to gain a foothold, unless its benefits are dramatically better. But every year that Tesla continues to show the reliability and long life of 18650 cells, putting something else into a vehicle gets harder. Newcomers should focus on how to make a 2170 cell cheaper and faster charging.

Kdawg

Speaking of “good enough”, we should keep our eyes on Dr. Goodenough, father of the li-ion battery. He appears to be making progress on his glass battery.

https://about.bnef.com/blog/goodenough-making-progress-solid-state-batteries-qa/

ffbj

It looks like they are making progress. I just wish that I could been there when he broke up with his first girl-friend.
I really like you but I don’t think I’m Goodenough for you.

theflew

No automaker wants to go down Tesla’s path of having thousands of cells in their cars when they same can do the same with a few hundred prismatic batteries. Part of Tesla’s ramp up problems is assembling those complex packs.

Mikael

Now you are not even trying. You can troll better than that.

1+

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Solid state may be safer but not all that much more energy dense nor cheaper.”

They will almost certainly be more expensive at first. But if it can be made using the same manufacturing techniques as consumer electronics, then prices should drop much faster than they have been for current batteries.

And despite what people keep saying, batteries don’t need to have higher energy density than what they currently have. It would be nice, but it’s not necessary.

Solid state batteries may offer other advantages, such as faster charging without overheating and longer life. Those advantages alone would make them preferable to current batteries.

ffbj

It’s true that they are the Holy Grail of batteries, but are they also apocryphal?

Warren

They will win just like they are with range against Tesla ?

Jeremy

Did I miss anything in the article? He said that they are working on solid state battery and it is hard to bring it in production, but that is nothing new. Where do you read that they claim to win the race?

Prsnep

I’m with you. I don’t understand the headline.

Tom

It got you to click didn’t it? How is that not obvious?

MTN Ranger

Engineering/science breakthroughs reaching commercially reliable production always take time. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot in the venture capital area.

Didier

SSD batteries in BMW cars in 2026 is the perfect timing to convince BMW clients they should replace their old ICE BMW by a new… ICE BMW, one more time. How convenient.

But in 2026, Tesla will be producing 500 000 model 3 per year since 2018, ie 4 millions Tesla 3 will already be on the road. And probably 3 millions model Y, and many S and X… And I guess many Tesla owners will ex-BMW clients…

MrDoubleb

Well, Tesla probably won’t be producing half a million Model 3s until 2019 or 2020, but your point is still very much valid.

Even if they fail to scale beyond 5k Model 3s per week before next year, they should still make 120-150k this year and become the number one EV sold worldwide. Hell, even if they only ever did 5k per week for the entire 2019, sometime next year the Model 3 will have surpassed the Nissan Leaf lifetime sales.

Terawatt

Solid state batteries have nothing to do with SSDs, even though they are also solid state. (A rock is also solid state, as opposed to liquid or gas state. But it’s little to do with either SSDs or SSBs!)

CDAVIS

Nonsensical article about a nonsensical BMW claim to be in some kind of solid state battery race…

CDAVIS

CDAVIS said: “Nonsensical article…”
———-

Perhaps I was a bit harsh there…

@OP Domenick Yoney did best he could writing about BMW’s battery gibberish.

PK

Winning assumes that they’re playing a finite game. Business is an infinite game. Well at least for as long as the humans manage to stay on this pale blue dot.

Lawrence

Claiming victory in the process of planning … I’m going to become King of America.

Don Zenga

A company that makes only plugins don’t need to make solid state batteries. The only EV in BMW lineup is i3 and its sales are not that great.

Thank goodness. I don’t want the Federal credit to run out on the i3, as it is one of the most advanced cars out there, and I plan on replacing my current one with another one eventually.

John

Maybe if they win the battery race they can produce a version of the i8 that goes further than 14 miles on all electric?

David Murray

They already have.. didn’t you get the memo? The new version gets 18 miles.

Excellent! So, by 2026, it will add…what another…8 miles, to reach 26 Miles range! Fantastic! It just passed the Prius Primes EV range of today, in 2026!

David Murray

if this were any other company I’d say it is just another stalling technique to tell people EVs are ready yet and to wait another few years. But, BMW does seem to be ahead of most manufacturers when it comes to number of models available and percentage of sales being EV or PHEV. Granted, most of their PHEVs don’t impress me much, but maybe that will change.

Jake Brake

Today I went through a list of all the battery competitors, BMW wasn’t even on the global list but I guess I can add them now? More competition is better at pushing innovation, even if some of the competitors are full of it.

Martin T.

Solid state is definitely on the menu – not just for car but other devices like mobile phones etc.

The question is who will be first to deliver a brilliant design and manufacturing technology for high volume manufacture.

This at least is more on the money than VW’s vaporware sketch pads.

Merv

The claim would have been more interesting if it had come from the engineering or research department rather than the marketing department. I hope they release some hand drawn concept art of a solid state battery soon.

Teslol

The claim would have been more interesting if it were even real 🙂

Another Euro point of view

I can’t see in this article where BMW is making that claim, could someone perhaps enlighten me ?

Teslol

My goodness….the Tesla fanboys and the number of people commenting with all kinds of imaginary outcomes just blows my mind

Get Real

My goodness, a new username bashing Tesla.

I wonder which existing shill shorter or hater registered as Teslol to pretend they have an anti-Tesla army?

Teslol

Haha it’s more amusement at the Tesla fanboys who can’t recognise logic rather than “bashing Tesla”.

Tesla has made very remarkable products and advancements, and the people behind it have everything to be proud of.

Some peeps going hell yeah at every little Tesla thing on the other hand, all I have to say is….

“Murica”.

Bo

Just demonstrate a solid state battery works in a phone.

Then, I may start to believe the hype.

Terawatt

Not much new in this article unfortunately, but I think solid state batteries are coming to EVs sometime between 2025 and 2030.

I’m a bit surprised if the main obstacle is in manufacturing. This is supposed to be one of the most important benefits with moving to solid-state, as having liquids splashing about is not conducive to having machines move stuff along a twisty production line at high speeds!