Lithium-metal “hybrid” battery promises lighter, longer-range EVs by 2025

A Kia EV6 drives past the camera

Enlarge / Smaller vehicles like the Kia EV6 could benefit from lighter, more energy-dense batteries. (credit: Kia)

Solid-state batteries have been hailed as the Holy Grail for electric vehicles, and while that might be an overstatement, they do promise to boost range and slash charging times, bringing zero-emissions vehicles that much closer to parity with their fossil fuel competition.

Yet, solid-state batteries, which use a solid electrolyte, as opposed to a liquid or gel, remain just over the horizon. Recently, they’ve started to look less like vaporware and more like a real product, and they’ll probably start making their way into cars and trucks by the end of the decade. Still, that’s a timeline that gives competitors an opening.

One of those competitors is a company called SES, which last week announced that it had made a new battery that promises to nearly double the energy density of today’s lithium-ion cells. The key was eliminating a piece of the battery that added weight and thickness while not introducing dangerous conditions that could lead to a fire.

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