According to a study by the NGO Transport and Environment, solid-state batteries would reduce their carbon footprint by 39% compared to current lithium batteries.
As we know, solid state batteries have many advantages. It is therefore not for nothing that manufacturers but also equipment manufacturers are working on the development of this very promising technology. Nevertheless, some obstacles still stand, while it is not yet quite ready for mass production.
Indeed, its development is still very expensive and engineers still have to find solutions to industrialize the process of solidification of electrolysis and the manufacture of these batteries. This is in particular why the manufacturers claim that this technology will not be available before 2028 even if some, like VinFast, have announced that they want to integrate it from 2024 in small quantities.
A much lower carbon footprint
But if brands believe in it, it’s because it has many assets, some recently brought to light. Because in addition tooffer greater energy density and therefore increased autonomy as well as faster charging timesolid-state batteries would also be more environmentally friendly during their manufacturing phase.
This is indeed the conclusion of a study conducted by the European NGO Transport and Environment and the Minviro firm. And the result is without appeal, since ” this new technology could reduce the carbon footprint of an electric car battery by up to 39% as the report states.
Also according to this study, a solid battery, which stores more energy using fewer materials, would reduce the carbon footprint of an electric car battery by 24%“. To arrive at this result, Minviro compared a solid NMC-811 type battery (80% nickel, 10% manganese and 10% cobalt) to a conventional LFP type lithium-ion battery (like those we found in the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion).
The first can then store more energy for the same volume, which explains its lower environmental impact. But to achieve the 39% reduction in its carbon footprint, these solid batteries would then have to be made from materials from more sustainable sources, as T&E points out.
Extract lithium in a less polluting way
Nevertheless, it should be known that solid-state batteries require 35% more lithium than current lithium-ion technology. According to Transport & Environnement, however, this would not be a problem if this material were extracted in a more sustainable way. For example, it would be possible to use geothermal wells, which ” have a significantly lower climate impact than more commonly used sources, such as lithium mined from hard rocks in Australia and then refined in China as the report states. This is precisely the project of Vulcan Energy in Europe, supported by Stellantis, Renault and Volkswagen.
The key to reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacture of solid-state batteries, but also conventional lithium-ion batteries, therefore involves more ecological extraction, as well as recycling. The NGO also appeals to the European Union and asks for an increase in the objectives for the reuse of lithium. of ” 70% in 2025 and 90% in 2030, i.e. beyond what is proposed by the European Commission“.
Towards a complete recycling of electric batteries
Remember that Tesla already recycles 91% of the weight of its batteries, while Volkswagen has launched a vast project to approach the 100% recycling mark. This will therefore ultimately make it possible to use less raw materials to manufacture a battery. It will then be necessary to be patient, since in 2030, it is expected that only 11% of the batteries produced will come from recycling.
Knowing that the production stage of a battery is the most polluting during the manufacture of an electric car, solid batteries should therefore drive the point home even more and relegate thermal cars to oblivion.
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