Filing a patent isn’t the same as having a finished product on hand, but if the Fisker car battery patent application is any indiciation, they may find themselves in the catbird seat within a few years.
The company filed a patent for a new solid state lithium ion battery that offers 2.5 times the energy density of typical Li-ion batteries, using 3-dimensional electrodes. The advances enable what Fisker says may be an expected 500-mile range on a single charge as well as a one-minute charging time — less time than it takes to fill your gas tank. The company says that it expects the battery to be production-ready by 2023.
Solid-state battery technology is currently limited by low electrode current density, limited temperature ranges, limited materials availability, high costs and non-scalable manufacturing processes. According to Green Car Congress, early results show that Fisker’s solid-state technology enables the construction of bulk three-dimensional solid-state electrodes with 25 times more surface area than flat thin-film solid-state electrodes and extremely high electronic and ionic conductivity — enabling fast charging and cold temperature operation. Fisker already has 9-minute charging to a 125-mile range on its $129K EMotion model.
The technology has the potential of costing one third of the 2020 projected price of current Li-ion batteries due to advances in materials and manufacturing. Fisker’s flexible solid-state electrode construction will enable batteries with versatile voltage and form factors. They may be wound in cylindrical cells with higher voltage output, allowing usage of current tooling and machinery for battery packs—in addition to lesser cell-to-cell connections, thermal management and safety requirements. This further reduces battery system costs.
The Fisker scientific team is already seeking to address the known bottlenecks around the technology, which include delamination due to volume changes and residual stresses during charge/discharge processes, dendrite penetration and stability vs. metallic lithium electrodes, and low ionic diffusion — particularly in low temperature climates, due to solid-state material limitations.
Dr. Fabio Albano, the Fisker vice president who heads the battery systems group, said “We are addressing all of the hurdles that solid-state batteries have encountered on the path to commercialization, such as performance in cold temperatures; the use of low-cost and scalable manufacturing methods; and the ability to form bulk solid-state electrodes with significant thickness and high active material loadings.”