In early 2022, Nissan announced plans to start mass production of solid-state batteries in 2028. Prior to that, a pilot production plant will be operational by 2025, with engineering work completed by 2026. In a new interview with the British magazine Coachthe company’s vice president for R&D in Europe talked about the top three benefits.
David Moss reiterated that solid-state batteries would triple charging speeds, reaching up to 400kW. Additionally, Nissan is looking to double energy density and halve production costs compared to current lithium-ion batteries. At this stage of development, Japanese engineers, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Oxford, have created 10 centimeter square cells. The final cells will be about the same size as a laptop computer.
Nissan is working on all-solid-state batteries, which means all liquid elements will be removed. Moss said Coach the automaker currently has the advantage when it comes to removing the liquid electrolyte. Keeping it would have a negative impact on energy and power transfer. He went on to mention that the use of new technology will make it more feasible to launch large electric pickup trucks and SUVs.
Featured here, the futuristic Surf-Out was unveiled in late 2021. However, 2028 is still a long way off, so it seems unlikely the concept was an early glimpse of an electric ute with solid-state batteries. This may or may not be related to a recent rumor that Nissan was considering a small electric truck for the United States.
Moss declined to say which electric vehicle will be the first to use solid-state batteries, but strongly suggested it would be unrelated to current models. He explained that a completely new architecture is needed, mentioning that Nissan could offer two sizes of constant-speed rechargeable batteries without depending on temperature variations.
The search for solid-state batteries doesn’t mean Nissan has ditched lithium-ion batteries, as Moss believes the two will co-exist for some time. A new generation of lithium-ion packs will be ready around the middle of the decade, with a cobalt-free battery expected to follow in 2028. This latest generation is estimated to reduce costs by up to 65% compared to current batteries.
In the meantime, combustion engines remain relevant, but Moss said they will not be updated to meet much-criticized Euro 7 regulations. The logic behind this decision is that strict emissions laws will make ICE engines much more expensive in the European Union, while electric vehicles are expected to become more affordable. Therefore, price parity between ICEs and EVs is a matter of when rather than if. Moss said, “we’re not that far from where they’ll cross the cost.”
Nissan won’t be the first automaker to have a production car with solid-state batteries as Toyota has pledged to beat everyone to market by 2025. However, the vehicle in question won’t be a VE but rather a hybrid. BMW is one of several companies working on the technology and has promised to start in-house pilot production later this year, with a demonstration vehicle expected before 2025.