Ford Authority

Ford Exec Says Solid-State Batteries Won’t Be Viable Before 2030

Ford and its EV battery joint venture partner SK On have both made multiple investments into Solid Power, a company that’s working on developing solid-state batteries for future all-electric vehicles. Solid-state batteries don’t use the liquid electrolyte found in conventional lithium-ion batteries, can be lighter, offer greater energy density, and provide more range at a lower cost, making them an attractive alternative to the batteries used in EVs today. However, it seems as if this technology is still a few years from being viable, according to Lisa Drake, vice president of EV industrialization, Ford Model e.

“I still don’t see solid-state heavy commercialization by the end of the decade,” Drake said during a recent fireside chat with Bank of America. “It’s still in the advanced research stage. We haven’t landed it into our product program yet. We need to do more work on it. It’s very promising. We think it will be the next step. It will be the next step, but it’s just not there yet.”

Ford revealed its EV battery master plan this past July, which involves securing the raw materials needed to boost production from a wide variety of suppliers around the globe, in addition to its own joint venture called BlueOvalSK. However, the automaker is currently in the process of switching many of its EV models over to lithium iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries, including the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup and the Ford Mustang Mach-E crossover, though not the E-Transit – at least for now.

LFP batteries don’t use nickel or cobalt in their construction and are generally cheaper, safer, and can be charged to 100 percent without worrying about speeding up battery degradation, though they’re also not as energy dense as lithium-ion batteries. As Ford Authority previously reported, Ford plans on utilizing LFP batteries in its EVs into the next decade, which would make for a suitable alternative until solid-state batteries are viable.

We’ll have more on EV battery technology soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Joe

    Great news for ICE vehicles and the ban in 2035 that won’t happen that soon.

    1. RWFA

      Sad news for the planet though.

      1. Njia

        I’m an owner of an EV (Mustang Mach E) but not even I believe that. My EV (and almost everyone else’s) still uses that same old “dirty” fossil fuel-based energy to recharge, and that number will only increase as EVs become more popular. Then there are the Germans – tearing down entire windfarms to mine for more coal. The bottom line is that whether or not ICE vehicles last beyond 2035 is irrelevant.

      2. eRock9202

        Good news for my friends and family who currently cannot afford the switch to EV due to costs and old infrastructure.

        I swear all these upper middle class EV purists think that everyone who is against the hyper-aggressive dates some companies and public officials have pushed for the country’s shift to EV’s is some super Libertarian conspiracy nut job. Many are people who work low paying jobs in low income communities with terrible electricity infrastructure. I can assure you that updating the infrastructure nation wide will take decades; the Europeans have a point when criticizing the US’s infrastructure. If some of my family and friends had to switch to EV’s by 2030 or 2035, they’d be screwed. I myself am a bit better of financially, but I live in an apartment with no charging capabilities. Moving into a better equipped complex is outside my budget, the housing market in my area is expensive, and I’m not in a position currently to get the necessary credentials to get a higher paying job. Am I just supposed to incur extreme debit to stop “sad news for the planet..”?

        EV’s will almost definitely be the future of consumer automotive vehicles. It’s going to happen. But to think we need to rush into it is detrimental and will cause more problems than solutions. If you really care about the planet, you’ll care about taking the time for things to be done right the first time for the betterment of all, not just jumping the gun to stick it to some climate-change-isn’t-really idiots.

        And yes, this did hit a nerve because short sighted comments like this (especially from business and policy makers) effects my friends, family, future children, and my profession as a civil engineer. Thus, my need to rant a bit. Enough bad decisions has screwed us over; no need to make even more.

  2. RWFA

    Some good news tho, just read an article about new technique for refining rare earth elements which results in quicker cycle times with higher yield and purity (from ca low 60% to ca 90%) and less waste.

    There were no downsides noted.

    Has to do with electrolytic ion transfer. The lab results were found to up scale when tried on site at the mine on a larger quantity of ore. Even for that, solar panels generated enough current; for industrial scale throughput that could be modified.

    My guess is it will also improve the raw materials used in solid state batteries. Higher purity means the commercial product performs more like the theoretical optimum.

  3. Bob

    >>We haven’t landed it into our product program yet. We need to do more work on it.
    Fords HUGE mistake, depending on one maker. There are so many Solid State batteries makers that Ford should be working with. Solid Power, Store Dot, QuantumScape and NASA’s Solid-State Battery made from sulfur. They should have a department working with everyone of these makers. In fact they should become battery experts since that is what they need to succeed and stay ahead.

  4. Bill

    Dont ignore solid state hydrogen powered vehicles. Toyota has a version and has been covered by Muro this year. Rural infranstructure for EV charging is often poor. Many of the newer chargers are only 50 and 62.5kW rated as found in the state of Michigan. Too fast, too soon is this EV push.


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