Factorial opens US solid state battery plant

The eternally promising technology is still some way from reaching mass production

Factorial opens US solid state battery plant
Solid state batteries could improve EV battery charging times and capacity

Start-up battery developer Factorial has opened a battery manufacturing facility in the suburbs of Boston, USA.

The $50mn facility, which will become operational later this year, will be the largest solid-state battery assembly line in the US, with a 200MWh assembly line.

"This facility will enable us to manufacture cells to meet the needs of our automotive partners and progress our mission to commercialise solid-state batteries," says Siyu Huang, CEO of Factorial.

The plant will be situated near Factorial’s research and development facility, where the firm fine-tunes the processes for manufacturing battery cells at mass production speed and volume.

Factorial’s claims its 100 Amp hour (Ah) cell quasi-solid-state batteries have 20-50pc higher energy density when compared to typical lithium-ion batteries, and are also safer. 

Most of the equipment used in the facility will be similar to that which is used for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, helping to keep costs down. 

“Our facility will manufacture automotive-sized solid-state batteries at pre-production speed and volume, illuminating a clear path to mass production and reaching economies of scale,” says Joe Taylor, executive chairman of Factorial.

Factorial’s batteries have been UN-certified and tested by automakers including Germany's, Amsterdam-headquartered Stellantis and South Korea's Hyundai.

Advocates of the technology say solid state batteries could improve EV battery charging times and capacity, helping commercialise the sector more rapidly. 

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Japanese OEM Toyota — which has also been developing solid-state batteries with Japanese electronics company Panasonic and recently claimed it had made a major breakthrough — now says that solid-state batteries can deliver 700-mile range and full charging in under fifteen minutes. The firm wants to commercialise the technology by 2027.

But analyst DNV says a number of challenges still need to be overcome before the technology see widespread adoption.

The US is making a concerted effort to grow a domestic supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs). Last year's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides a tax credit for domestic battery production equal to $35/kWh for the production of battery cells. 

“As a US company, we are also proud to contribute to the onshoring of battery manufacturing for EVs and advancement of battery innovation for a differentiated supply chain," adds Huang.

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