Batteries are the fastest growing storage technology and will be critical in helping Europe meet its decarbonization goals, particularly in the road transport sector. Car manufacturers around the world are already considering what kind of batteries will power future vehicles, and while the verdict is still out, many see solid-state batteries (SSBs) as the next generation of battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs).
The potential benefits of SSBs, which replace liquid electrolytes with innovative solid materials, are widely anticipated. This technology promises increased safety, increased driving range (due to higher energy density), faster charging times, and, in the long run, lower costs. However, little is known about their potential environmental impact in comparison to conventional lithium-ion batteries, as well as whether SSBs represent an environmental as well as an industrial opportunity.
One of the first to try to answer this question is Transport & Environment. they commissioned Minviro, a company specialising in raw material life-cycle analysis, to conduct a study comparing the environmental performance of SSBs manufactured in Europe to incumbent lithium-ion battery technologies. The study compares the global warming potential of solid-state batteries to current and upcoming chemistries such as nickel-manganese-cobalt-lithium (NMC-811), lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP), and its promising derivative lithium-iron-manganese-phosphate (LFMP).