Renault electric cars could use solid state batteries with zero cobalt until 2025, according to Gilles Normand, Renault’s superior electric vehicle vice president. The technology will come from the Ionic Materials, in which the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance invested 65 million dollars in 2018.
The new technology will rival the lithium-ion batteries that are currently the most commonly used type in the automotive industry. A compact polymer electrolyte makes this new battery safer (the liquid electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries is extremely dangerous), as well as potentially more efficient and less sensitive to temperature.
Removing cobalt dependence – a valuable metal that is currently essential for high-performance lithium-ion batteries – is a key target for every battery manufacturer. Cobalt is costly and there are concerns about the working conditions of those who are mining it. According to the Ionic Materials website, the company is trying to build the batteries in Massachusetts, USA, although the factory is not yet built.