Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has launched a public-private project to develop solid-state battery technology. Some 23 companies, including Panasonic, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, are involved.
The group has set 2022 as the target date to develop core solid-state technologies, and ultimately aims to lower battery pack cost to $90 per kWh by around 2030, as well as reducing charging time to 10 minutes.
Japan took an early lead in the solid-state race – NEDO previously worked with materials makers on solid-state battery research. “A majority of patent applications on all-solid batteries are from Japanese companies,” said NEDO Project Manager Kei Hosoi.
When it comes to the current Li-ion battery market however, Japan is falling behind. Long-time leader Panasonic is expected to see its global market share drop to 16% this year, down from 44% in 2014, according to Tokyo consultancy Techno Systems Research.
The new king of batteries is China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). Supported by substantial government aid, CATL has recruited star engineers from abroad, and has announced supply agreements with Honda and Nissan/Renault. The company recently launched an IPO, and the stock soared 44 percent on its first day of trading, Reuters reports.
“As a battery maker, we cannot afford to let overseas rivals beat us in all-solid batteries,” said Panasonic executive Eiji Fujii.