NIO’s electric vehicle will be equipped with solid state battery
In February 2021, several media reported that NIO, which is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, shared a groundbreaking upcoming battery option for its electric vehicles. They are 150 kWh battery packs that consist of ultra-high energy density solid-state batteries. Of course, it is not yet available, but the Chinese company is confident that it will be available until the end of 2022.
Who is NIO?
NIO Inc. is a pioneer in China’s premium electric vehicle market. The company designs, jointly manufactures, and sells smart and connected premium electric vehicles. In addition to this, they innovates next generation technologies in connectivity, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence (AI). In order to improve user experience, the Chinese EV giant provides users with comprehensive, convenient and innovative charging solutions and other user-centric services. NIO’s Chinese name, Weilai that means Blue Sky Coming, shows their vision and commitment to a more environmentally friendly future.
Its first model was the EP9 supercar and available in 2016. Thanks to an attractive design and strong driving performance, consumers recognized NIO as a premium electric vehicle brand. In 2018, they started to deliver their first volume manufactured electric vehicle, which is called the ES8. The ES8 is a 7-seater all aluminum alloy body, premium electric SUV that offers exceptional performance, functionality and mobility lifestyle. As for the other brand, the ES6, a 5-seater high-performance premium electric SUV, began to deliver in 2019. In summary, they try to be a pioneer in automotive smart connectivity and enhanced Level 2 autonomous driving. In fact, the company developed NOMI which is a voice activated AI digital companion that personalizes the user’s driving experience.
In addition to this, NIO offers comprehensive value-added services and a convenient and innovative suite of charging solutions to users. These solutions include Power Home (charging solution), Power Swap (battery swapping service), Power Mobile (mobile charging service through charging trucks), and Power Express (24-hour on-demand pick-up and drop-off charging service). These solutions and services are able to offer a better user experience and vehicle lifecycle.
What is Solid-state Battery?
According to Samsung SDI’s explanation, there is a clear difference between a lithium-ion battery, which is mainly used for smartphones and EVs, and a solid-state battery, which is expected to solve a lithium-ion battery’s problems.
On one hand, a lithium-ion battery is composed of cathode, anode, separator and electrolyte. On the other hand, a solid-state battery uses solid electrolyte, not liquid. As a result, a solid-state battery improves its stability with a solid electrolyte and structure, and increases safety because it is able to keep its solid form even if the electrolyte is damaged.
Both excitement and skepticism about NIO’s new product
When people knew NIO’s new product with a solid-state battery, many of them were excited. This is because, as we see above, the new technology is a real breakthrough in 2020s. Thanks to climate actions and public policies, the demand of electric vehicles is skyrocketing, but many people concern the safety of a lithium-ion battery at the same time. If electric vehicles with solid-state batteries are available, it is possible that more people will purchase them.
However, some people are skeptical about the announcement as well since even the leading automotive company, Toyota, is planning to manufacture its vehicles with a solid-state battery in middle of 2020s. In addition to this, as we see the other article about Byton, NIO’s rival EV company has actually been struggling in the EV market. The share price of NIO is increasing like Tesla’s share does in 2020 so that some people doubt the fact that the news just increases NIO’s share price.
Even though there are both excitement and skepticism, many people see how fast Chinese technology is advancing. Thus, it might be possible that NIO actually realize it in the end of 2022.