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Mercedes-Benz revealed the latest progress in battery development

published: 2024-06-05 17:53

Last Saturday (6/1), the nine-day 2024 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Auto Show was held in Shenzhen, with domestic car companies bringing a full range of new energy models, and traditional luxury car brands such as Mercedes-Benz also brought their new energy models to the exhibition.

At the Future Automotive Pioneer Conference at the same time as the exhibition, Mercedes-Benz China's Senior Executive Vice President Ou Lifu shared the latest progress of Mercedes-Benz's electrification.

Mercedes-Benz has invested in two emerging solid-state battery technology companies

In terms of batteries, Olifu revealed that Mercedes-Benz will cooperate with leading global battery companies such as CATL and invest in emerging solid-state battery technology companies, such as Huineng Technology and Factorial Energy. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz is also continuously improving the level of independent research and development in the field of battery chemistry, and is committed to covering all battery technology fields.

Founded in 2006, Huineng Technology focuses on the field of oxide solid-state batteries, and currently chooses the technology such as 811 cathode and silicon-oxygen anode materials to achieve an energy density of over 270Wh/kg. Since the beginning of this year, Huineng Technology has opened the world's first gigabit solid-state lithium ceramic battery factory, and announced that it will establish its first overseas R&D center in France.

The cooperation between Mercedes-Benz and Huineng Technology dates back to 2016, and in January 2022, the two parties signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop solid-state batteries, and Mercedes-Benz has a seat on the board of directors of Huineng to help it establish a manufacturing plant in Europe, and the first new solid-state model is expected to be launched in the next few years, and will gradually be installed in a series of passenger cars in the next five years.

Factorial Energy, on the other hand, focuses on the development of solid-state battery technology, and its products have entered the A-sample delivery stage. The company's FEST technology is the first of its kind in the world to enable a solid-state battery with a capacity of 40 Ah at room temperature. Mercedes-Benz has developed a close working relationship with Factorial Energy through multiple investments and representation on its board of directors.

Mercedes-Benz executives have previously questioned the necessity of solid-state batteries

Whether it is investing in Huineng Technology or Factorial Energy, it proves that Mercedes-Benz attaches great importance to solid-state battery technology. However, Mercedes-Benz executives have previously said that solid-state batteries "may not be necessary", and why?

On January 14 this year, according to media reports, Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Marcus Schaefer said that the current energy density of lithium batteries has increased very fast, which has exceeded expectations, and can even be comparable to the solid-state batteries vigorously developed by many car companies. As a result, solid-state battery technology "may not be necessary" for future electric vehicles.

Although "it may not be necessary", this does not mean that Mercedes-Benz does not carry out the relevant layout. Yang Siyang, founder and CEO of Huineng Technology, publicly stated that since 2016, Huineng Technology has cooperated with Mercedes-Benz to test batteries. Perhaps it is through these in-depth studies and tests that Mercedes-Benz is more aware of the challenges and complexities in solid-state battery technology.

Indeed, as analyzed by TrendForce, the large-scale production of all-solid-state batteries still faces a series of technical challenges, such as batch preparation of electrolyte materials, interfacial stability and side reactions between solid-state materials, as well as cell preparation process and production equipment.

Toyota, Japan, as an active promoter of solid-state battery technology, originally planned to start mass production of all-solid-state batteries that can travel more than 1,000 kilometers on a single charge from 2027. However, at the end of last year, Toyota postponed mass production until after 2030, which shows that its solid-state battery technology still faces complex challenges in practical applications.

In summary, Mercedes-Benz executives proposed that solid-state batteries "may not be necessary" on the one hand, because of the progress of existing lithium battery technology, and on the other hand, they also realized that there are still many challenges to overcome in the commercial application of solid-state battery technology. While actively investing in the layout, Mercedes-Benz is also prudently evaluating the development prospects of solid-state battery technology.

Source:  TrendFoece

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