China’s Government to Allocate $830 Million for Acceleration of Solid-State Battery Development

China Allocates $830m For Solid State Battery Development

The Chinese government is planning a significant investment in the progress of solid-state battery technology, contradicting Western convictions that China’s auto industry success relies solely on subsidies. The government will reportedly grant $830 million to six domestic firms to hasten the development of solid-state traction batteries, as per Reuters.

Solid-state batteries are widely believed to enhance the user properties of electric vehicles. Firstly, they offer higher charge storage density coupled with less mass, which can either reduce the vehicle’s weight for the same range or increase the mileage without recharging at the same weight. Secondly, solid-state batteries have a higher charging rate, potentially solving one of the main issues preventing electric vehicles from becoming mainstream – many potential buyers are discouraged by the prospect of spending hours at charging stations during intensive vehicle use. Thirdly, these batteries are considered to be safer due to the reduced risk of ignition following mechanical damage. Lastly, they exhibit better charge retention at negative outdoor temperatures and are expected to provide extended operation life.

According to Reuters, the forthcoming Chinese government initiative aims to invest $830 million towards the development of solid-state traction batteries, distributing the funds among six Chinese companies currently engaged or showing interest in this industry. These companies include the sector leader CATL and its main rival BYD, who also happens to be the country’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and hybrids. Smaller firms will not be overlooked either; WeLion New Energy Technology backed by Nio, a start-up that manufactures traction batteries, will be included in the program. FAW, SAIC, and Geely will also be among the automakers involved.

Japanese auto manufacturers are also working on developing solid-state batteries with companies like Toyota expecting to launch the first models within a few years. Western automakers tend to fund research activities of start-ups focused on developing solid-state batteries. This sizeable Chinese government initiative presents added motivation for Chinese manufacturers to join this trend. News of the planned program was first published by China Daily.

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