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China’s SAIC Motor Group announces plans for mass production of all-solid-state batteries for BEVs

According to media reports on 29 May 2024, China’s SAIC Motor Group has announced plans to start mass production of all-solid-state batteries for BEVs in 2026.

The energy density of all-solid-state batteries will be at the level of over 400 Wh/kg, double that of conventional lithium-ion batteries, and the group’s subsidiary, luxury BEV manufacturer Ji Ji Automotive Technology, will use all-solid-state batteries in a vehicle to be launched in 2027. On 12 May, Guangzhou Automobile Group also announced that its independently developed all-solid-state batteries will be used in vehicles in 2026, and that its subsidiary Guangqi Dustan New Energy Vehicle (AION) will use them in its Hyper brand vehicles.

On the other hand, Toyota, which holds the largest number of patents for all-solid-state batteries, plans to launch BEVs with all-solid-state batteries in 2027 at the earliest, and has been overtaken by Chinese carmakers in terms of mass production timing.
However, as is often said of existing lithium-ion batteries, the current situation with all-solid-state batteries is that even if a recipe (technology) exists, it is not possible to start mass production. The general view is that without production technology and know-how, mass production (in the true sense of the term) is quite difficult.

Such production technology and know-how has been the exclusive domain of battery manufacturers, but this is now being attempted by complete vehicle manufacturers in the form of in-house production or joint ventures. Aside from existing batteries, all-solid-state batteries are said to be in uncharted territory, and even conventional battery manufacturers have not yet been able to ‘guarantee’ mass production. However, some question whether it is really possible.

Even if mass production is achieved, it will take time to ensure stable quality and reliability, so all-solid-state batteries may be a real challenge. We need to keep a close eye on the success or failure of the mass production of all-solid-state batteries by 2026, which is the target set by Chinese car manufacturers.