Honda recently announced a breakthrough in solid-state batteries that could possibly lead to higher density units compared to today’s lithium-ion batteries. The new battery in question is believed to be much more stable, a boon over the current batteries that pose a risk of overheating.

In partnership with researchers from California Institute Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, scientists at the Honda Research Institute discovered a new means to operate fluoride-based batteries at room temperature. Following an announcement last week, the researchers confirmed that they had created a fluoride-ion electrochemical cell, which did not require high temperatures to operate.

Honda Battery

In partnership with researchers from California Institute Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, scientists at the Honda Research Institute discovered a new means to operate fluoride-based batteries at room temperature.

As for the technology that is currently found on vehicles, solid-state batteries with a fluoride basis must operate at extremely high temperatures; we’re talking above 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). The high temperature allows the fluoride to conduct electricity which the automakers obviously cannot operate with.

The new method, however, makes the fluoride basis conductive at room temperature. A chemically stable fluoride-conducting electrolyte with incredibly high conductive properties paired with a composite cathode creates reverse electrochemical cycling at room temperature.

Honda Battery

With the new setup, the unit was able to provide power and retain its solid-state benefits even at low temperatures that are ideal for automobiles as well as other battery-powered products.

With the new setup, the unit was able to provide power and retain its solid-state benefits even at low temperatures that are ideal for automobiles as well as other battery-powered products. Solid-state batteries, the ‘holy grail of battery technology’, has an energy density that is 10 times greater than what can be seen in today’s most powerful lithium-ion batteries. Apart from that, solid state batteries can provide a staggering mileage, which can make range anxiety a thing of the past.

However, the technology still faces some lags. At the moment, there is no mass-production process to produce fluoride batteries and the technology may not be ready until the mid-2020s. Numerous automakers who have put their hat in the ring for electrified vehicles are trying to get a headstart by extinguishing the widespread range anxiety with solid-state batteries. Of them, Toyota is likely to be the first one which aims to commercialise solid-state batteries early next decade.