Factorial Energy has opened the country’s largest solid-state battery factory near Boston, according to Business Wire. The news is being heralded as a boon for the local economy that takes advantage of government programs geared to enable the EV industry.
“Automaker demand for American-made batteries is high to produce electric or hybrid vehicles that qualify for incentives,” Factorial Executive Chairman Joe Taylor told CleanTechnica. “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.”
The factory, a $50 million project, will employ 150 New Englanders, per Business Wire.
The crew will be making an innovative solid-state battery the company has branded “FEST” (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology).
EVs are commonly powered by lithium-ion batteries using a liquid electrolyte — the substance where the charge/discharge chemistry happens. In solid-state batteries, the electrolyte lives up to its name (it’s solid), often made from ceramic or polymer. FEST uses the latter, with strong performance results, according to ACS Publications.
Solid-state tech has clear advantages and is being researched in the labs of many companies, including Porsche. The pros include high energy-storage capacity (energy density), fast charge times, and lower fire risks than liquid power packs, according to MotorTrend.
Cost and dependence on lithium and other rare metals are among the cons, per MotorTrend. But Factorial claims it has improved the concept.
FEST “delivers on the promises of solid-state performance without fatal defects found in iterations of the technology to date. The technology will debut in the high spec market as a proving ground for its performance and manufacturability,” per the company website.
What’s more, the tech is set to extend beyond the New World, as Factorial has development agreements with Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, and Hyundai, per Business Wire.
“We are thrilled to open our next-generation battery facility in Massachusetts as we scale our batteries for mass production,” Factorial CEO Siyu Huang said.
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