Want My Range – My EV Story
I bought my first electric vehicle (EV) back in July 2021
We documented my journey over the past two years in a series of grove essays. You can follow along here:
- The Roar of the Engines, NOT! My EV Story
- EV Charging, Easter Eggs, and Range Anxiety
- A Day in the Life of an EV Driver
- Home on the Range – My EV Story
In these stories, I highlight the good, bad and the ugly of EV ownership. And though I am still happy with my electric car, it is not for everyone. Heck, I still load up the gas guzzling SUV for the long road trips.
There’s still a lot of reasons for someone not to buy an electric vehicle. Price, range, charge times, poor infrastructure, or they just don’t sound cool. I can still hear my first car, a 1971 Camaro SS 350. For certain folks of my generation, there is nothing like the roar of a 210 horsepower muscle car…but I digress.
If you are on the fence about getting an EV, there is good news. The industry recognized these problems early and there’s a lot of money going into solving them.
I had a conversation with a friend recently and asked if he would ever consider getting one. His response was straight forward,
“Sure, if it’s a pickup truck with a range of 500 miles.”
As it turns out, that may not be too far off. Enter the solid-state battery. Toyota claims to have cracked the code on EV battery range with a solid-state battery.
A solid-state battery is a type of rechargeable battery that uses solid materials for all its parts. That’s unlike traditional EV batteries which use liquid electrolytes. In solid-state batteries, both the electrolyte and electrodes are made of solid materials.
All that seems minor but the advantage in terms of EV batteries can be huge.
Safety is the first priority in the new battery technology. No more exploding Tesla memes. No more raging infernos on the side of the road. Solid-state batteries are inherently safer compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries, which use flammable liquid electrolytes.
Solid-state batteries have the potential to offer higher energy densities. That means they can store more energy in the same physical volume. That leads to longer lasting and more powerful batteries.
They also charge much faster. A solid-state electrolyte allows for faster ion transport, which will cut charging times for electric vehicles. Solid-state batteries may also have a longer life, as they are less prone to degradation over time.
All this adds up to a much better EV experience. Forget 500-mile range, Toyota claims these batteries will go 700 or 800 miles between charges. Also gone are the days of having time to enjoy a long lunch break while charging. With these new solid-state batteries, you will barely have time to grab a cup of coffee.
Despite the promising advantage of solid-state batteries there are still challenges. They still have to address the manufacturing hurdles and cost. But now we know that it’s possible, expect to see it dominate the EV market.
Still Toyota says they will have solid-state battery EV’s available by 2028. They are not the only car manufacture heading down the solid-state path. For example, Mercedes-Benz works with ProLogium, an energy company focused on solid-state batteries. Volkswagen partnered with QuantumScape, and BMWteamed up with Solid Power.
So, the race is on to be the first to drive eight hundred miles on a single charge.
For the Good
Numbers to Know
The minutes it will take to achieve a full charge for a range of over 700 miles on Toyota’s new solid state EV. (Driving)
The current highest range for a production EV. The Lucid Air achieves such range through very efficient engineering design. (Lucid)
In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the first true battery, which came to be known as the voltaic pile. The voltaic pile consisted of pairs of copper and zinc discs piled on top of each other, separated by a layer of cloth soaked in brine (i.e., the electrolyte) (Battery Industry)
Mentions of ESG in company statements have declined significantly since their 2021 peak and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink decided to banish the term ESG from his vocabulary, saying it has become too political. (CNN)
ESG naysayers may deserve some credence. But the volume of evidence that suggests ESG-aligned practices effectively create value merits their consideration.(Bloomberg Law)
Video Of The Week
What are Solid-State Lithium-Metal Batteries?
Want to know how solid state lithium batteries are different than traditional lithium Ion batteries. Check out this explainer.