Even with the influence of Covid-19, the potential market for solid-state batteries is expected to grow to over $6-billion by 2030.

This is according to IDTechEx’s report “Solid-State and Polymer Batteries 2020-2030: Technology, Patents, Forecasts, Players”.

With the potential of excellent safety, simplified battery pack design, and higher energy densities, solid-state batteries became extremely popular around 2015.

In 2015, Volkswagen got a 5% stake in QuantumScape, Dyson acquired Sakti3, Bosch acquired SEEO and Johnson Battery Technologies sold its solid-state batteries to BP.

More electric vehicle companies joined this game, such as BMW partnering with Solid Power and Ionic Materials working with Hyundai, although in 2017 both Bosch and Dyson abandoned the two companies they acquired in 2015.

In 2020, there is a lot of further interest in solid-state batteries, such as the newly developed solid-state batteries based on argyrodite electrolyte by Samsung, and a further $200-million investment by Volkswagen on QuantumScape. In addition, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Fisker, Panasonic, Samsung and CATL have also become involved.

The market demand for solid-state batteries mainly comes from electric vehicles. Energy storage system, consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops are also its targeting markets and the later may come true earlier.

Taking most of the companies’ mass-production plans into consideration, it is likely that solid-state batteries will take off around 2025, although small-scale production may happen even earlier. The car plug in market will take the most share (65%) in 2030, followed by smartphone applications.

With a battery market currently dominated by East Asian companies, European and US firms are striving to win this race that might, in their view, shift added value away from Japan, China, and South Korea.

New material selection and change of manufacturing procedures show an indication of the reshuffle of the battery supply chain. From both technology and business point of view, the development of solid-state batteries has become part of the next-generation battery strategy. It has become a global game with regional interests and governmental supports.

In solid-state batteries, both the electrodes and the electrolytes are solid-state. Solid-state electrolyte normally behaves as the separator as well, allowing downscaling due to the elimination of certain components (for example separator and casing).

Therefore, they can potentially be made thinner, flexible, and contain more energy per unit weight/volume than conventional Li-ion. In addition, the removal of liquid electrolytes can be an avenue for safer, long-lasting batteries as they are more resistant to changes in temperature and physical damages that occurred during usage.

Solid-state batteries can handle more charge/discharge cycles before degradation, promising a longer lifetime.

IDTechEx has identified solid-state battery technologies including solid polymer electrolyte, as well as other eight inorganic electrolyte types such as Lisicon-like, argyrodites, garnet, Nasicon-like, Perovskite, LiPON, Li-Hydride and Li-Halide.

Among them, the material systems based on oxide and sulfide systems stand out, together with the polymer systems, becoming the popular options in the next-generation development.

Many solid polymer electrolytes, in a strict definition, should not belong to solid-state batteries. However, due to their popularity and market acceptance, IDTechEx also included them for benchmarking.