On April 20, South Korea announced that it plans to invest 20 trillion won (about 15.046 billion U.S. dollars) in the electric vehicle battery industry by 2023 to develop this national security and important strategic industry in South Korea and ensure that South Korea can lead the way other competitors. The 20 trillion won investment will be jointly raised by the government and the private sector.

"This joint investment will enable South Korea to take the lead in commercializing solid-state battery production and become the first country in the world to commercialize solid-state batteries," Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

South Korea aims to quadruple the country's capacity for cathode materials over the next five years, triple exports of equipment related to battery production and begin commercial production of lithium iron phosphate batteries from 2025.

It is reported that South Korea's three major battery manufacturers LG New Energy, Samsung SDI and SK On plan to produce solid-state battery prototypes in South Korea and quantify them on a large scale overseas. The government will provide tax credits on large materials and set aside funds for equipment manufacturers to conduct research.

                                 Solid-state battery space is huge

Since the current energy density of lithium-ion batteries is close to the theoretical limit, solid-state batteries have been regarded as batteries that can inherit the status of lithium-ion batteries in recent years. Solid-state batteries use solid electrodes and solid electrolytes, which have the advantages of high energy density, good safety performance, and longer cycle life.
Semi-solid batteries are expected to achieve high energy density + high safety. Energy density: At present, mainstream ternary liquid batteries are close to the upper limit of energy density under certain safety conditions. The current energy density of semi-solid batteries has reached 360wh/kg, and will continue to break through in the future. Safety: The mass fraction of semi-solid battery electrolyte is only 5%-10%, and the solid electrolyte is non-flammable and zero-volatile, which significantly improves the thermal stability of the battery.

The space for solid-state batteries is huge. According to EVTank's forecast, the penetration rate of solid-state batteries in the world is expected to reach 10% by 2030, and the demand will reach 276.8GWh. From 2023 to 2030, the compound growth rate of global demand for solid-state batteries will reach 63.7%.

There are currently three mainstream solid-state battery technology routes, namely: polymers, sulfides, and oxides. Among them, polymers were the first to realize the loading test of solid-state batteries. Their advantages are easy processing, compatibility with existing liquid electrolyte production equipment and processes, and good mechanical properties and softness. However, there are also disadvantages such as low conductivity and poor stability with lithium metal;

Sulfide has the highest conductivity among the three material systems, and has a wide electrochemical stability window, but its thermodynamic stability is poor, and the generation of lithium dendrites is still unavoidable;

Oxide has good conductivity and stability, but it is very hard. Moreover, compared with sulfides, the conductivity of oxides is still low, which makes a series of problems such as limited capacity and rate performance encountered in performance.

Japan, South Korea, Europe, the United States, and China have different technologies for solid-state batteries: Japan and South Korea started the earliest and chose the sulfide solid-state electrolyte route. At present, Japanese and Korean companies hold the world's leading patents for solid-state batteries. According to Patent Result statistics, by 2022 3 At the end of the month, the top ten global patents are all Japanese and Korean companies; Europe and the United States mostly choose the oxide solid-state electrolyte route, and they are all directly developing lithium metal anode applications; China has three solid-state electrolyte routes. We are vigorously developing semi-solid batteries that are more friendly to existing industries.

Companies from various countries are scrambling to lay out solid-state batteries

Compared with China, foreign countries started research on solid-state batteries earlier. In terms of Japanese companies, Toyota has been researching solid-state batteries since 1990 and has a wide range of application patents; Nissan has developed solid-state batteries, and the goal is to start trial production by 2025 and mass-produce an all-solid-state battery in 2028. driven electric vehicles.

For South Korean companies, LG New Energy is expected to achieve mass production of all-solid-state batteries in 2026; Samsung SDI announced in March last year that it has started building the industry's first solid-state battery trial production line - S-Line, and the company plans to complete technical verification in 2025. Official mass production in 2027; SK On announced in January last year that it will cooperate with Professor Seung-woo Lee of the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop the next generation of all-solid-state batteries.

Chinese companies are not far behind, and are catching up. Lithium battery companies such as Ganfeng Lithium Industry, Guoxuan High-Tech, and Zhongxinhang have solid-state battery layouts. Recently, the latest news about solid-state batteries has continued to spread: According to the website of the Ganzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce, on April 13, the Ganzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce in Jiangxi Province issued a project promotion, planning to invest in the construction of a single large-capacity solid-state battery 1GWh energy storage power station, the project The estimated total investment is 4.5 billion yuan; on April 18, at the 20th Shanghai Auto Show, Zu Sijie, vice president and chief engineer of SAIC Motor, said that its first mass-produced product equipped with a solid-state battery will roll off the assembly line in 2025.

mass production will not be possible in the short term

At the Cloud Yibin High-end Forum of the Second World Power Battery Conference held recently, Ouyang Minggao, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of Tsinghua University, said, "Countless people around the world have invested in the innovation movement of all-solid-state battery technology. The emergence of ChatGPT technology has greatly improved the efficiency of exploring new materials, shortened the development cycle, and through global efforts, all-solid-state batteries can be successful."

"We found that the papers related to solid-state battery technology published in the world's top journals are increasing exponentially. It can be said that the technology is on the eve of commercialization." Ouyang Minggao said.

At the China Electric Vehicle 100 Forum held in March last year, Academician Ouyang Minggao gave a very clear development node for domestic solid-state battery technology: if industrialization is used as a measure, the energy density will reach 350Wh/kg in 2025, solid-state The emergence of semi-solid batteries with liquid mixed electrolytes; in 2030, the energy density will reach 400Wh/kg, and quasi-solid batteries with less liquid electrolytes will be mass-produced. Industrialization of all-solid-state batteries.

However, problems such as high cost and low lithium-ion conductivity hinder the mass production of all-solid-state batteries. As a result, semi-solid batteries as a transitional solution have become the focus of corporate investment. Zhu Jun, deputy chief engineer of SAIC Group and general manager of SAIC Jieneng Automobile Technology Co., Ltd., said: "The final calculation is still the cost. No matter how high the energy density of all-solid-state batteries is, mainstream electric vehicles still value cost. If semi-solid and all-solid-state batteries can Help mainstream car manufacturers reduce costs, then it should be commercially available soon."