Samsung’s battery making division plans to mass produce solid-state batteries in the near future for use in the company’s Galaxy smartphones. Solid-state batteries offer a number of advantages over the lithium-ion based batteries that are currently used in smartphones.
Solid-state batteries are made out of solid electrolytes, which helps significantly lower the risk of an explosion. Batteries typically explode when the liquid electrolytes inside come in contact with air or water outside. Since solid-state batteries have no liquid electrolytes, they are much safer than current batteries and will help manufacturers solve the safety issue that plagues lithium-ion batteries. Samsung SDI was, in fact, the main supplier of lithium-ion batteries for the Galaxy Note 7 last year.
“Our technological level to produce a solid-state battery for smartphones will be mature enough in one to two years. However, it depends on Samsung Electronics whether it will be used for phones,” said a Samsung SDI executive.
For smartphones, Samsung SDI believes it can start supplying solid-state batteries within the next two years. Once it has fully tested the safety aspects of solid-state batteries, it plans to supply them to automobile manufacturers as well. However, that is expected to take a lot of time. A Samsung SDI source mentioned that he expects the application for automobiles to be seen around 2025. Initially, Samsung SDI plans to roll out “solid-like” batteries for electric cars. Solid-like batteries have some liquid electrolytes but are still safer than lithium-ion batteries. They are also easier to manufacture than solid-state batteries. Apart from Samsung SDI, LG Chem is also reportedly working on such solid-like batteries. Toyota, on the other hand, is said to have the most advanced solid-state battery technology in the world currently. The company has plans of commercializing solid-state batteries for its electric cars as soon as 2020.
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