During the ongoing ees Europe conference in Munich, Germany, ProLongium unveiled its latest solid-state battery. The company, in partnership with Mercedes, developed its first-generation 100% silicon oxide anode technology last year, which paved the way for high energy density. Its second-generation solid-state battery showcased for the first time in Germany has the potential to change the EV scene.
The new battery tech is actually simple as it builds on a principle of a larger battery cell to increase energy density. It’s a similar approach Tesla used when designing the 4680 cells and moving away from the 2170 standard. ProLogium took that approach and turned it up to 11 with the Large footprint Lithium Ceramic Battery, or LLCB for short.
Thanks to the use of a solid ceramic electrolyte and its superb thermal capabilities, the company was able to increase the size of battery cells and keep them rectangular in shape – not too different from BYD’s Qilin battery tech. That resulted in fewer individual battery cells, fewer battery cells means fewer parallel connections and the result is a simpler construction, higher energy density, and less volume.
The results are quite staggering – ProLogium claims that its LLCB doubles the energy density of the current battery technology. It means that a Mercedes EQE 350+ could double its capacity from about 90 kWh to nearly 180 kWh, and the company predicts an increase of driving range by 79% – in the case of Mercedes EQE 350+ that would mean 447 miles.
Another advantage of the new technology is weight reduction, and since solid-state batteries are going to be hugely expensive for the foreseeable future, manufacturers are likely to keep the battery sizes down. That means the EQE 350+ could have the same capacity of 90 kWh but with a smaller and lighter battery pack, and the company claims the weight saving would be around 254 lb.
When are we going to see the first solid-state battery from ProLogium in a road-going car? Well, rather soon as it turns out. The company is in the process of preparing assessment samples for automakers, and the tests will begin later this year. The company chose Dunkirk in France for its Gigafactory with a planned production capacity of 48 GWh yearly. It will be a dedicated solid-state battery factory for the European EV market, and the $5.58 billion investment looks like it’s off to a good start.