As we move from gas and diesel powered engines to electrification, a recurring problem arises: Batteries are heavy, and weight is the enemy of efficiency. The search for batteries that are cheaper, lighter, more efficient, and safer is becoming increasingly urgent, and there is a research rush at the moment.
You only need to look at the billions of dollars that automakers — including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and VW — have poured into battery-focused research and development to see where it’s going and where it’s headed. In short: There’s a lot going on.
Drive and shaker in the battery circuit
The chase for better EV batteries has been going on for years, both within the R&D labs of automotive manufacturers and in the startup scene.
Nissan has built its own solid-state battery prototypes at its factory in Yokohama, Japan, which it hopes to produce in 2028. Other automakers have opted to use their funds to power startups.
Factorial Energy, which emerged from stealth in April 2021, has investment and partnership deals with Hyundai and Kia to co-develop and test battery technology in Hyundai EVs. However, it also has a joint collaboration agreement with Mercedes-Benz, which is a “double-digit million dollar investment” and an unspecified investment from Stellantis, which is expected to see the launch of the solid-state technology in 2026. Based in Woburn, Massachusetts, Factorial operates in South Korea and Japan and a subsidiary in Germany announced in March 2023.