Audi might be the first to use solid-state batteries in electric supercars

Article by Christian A., on June 16, 2018

Right now, Audi is in the earliest stages when it comes to developing a fully electric supercar. But as this technology is still a few years away before they can be used, Audi sees this as one of the obstacles.

Peter Oberndorfer, Audi’s boss of product and technology communications, told Motoring that at this moment, they really consider everything, but they think that battery development is vital.

Oberndorfer believes that future solid state batteries will be necessary to achieve the perfect combination of performance and range. Peter Mertens, the development boss, confirms that solid state batteries will not be available anytime soon. He also told Motoring that the advantage of these batteries would be that they’re much lighter and need less space.

A way to speed up the process of getting these batteries production-ready is if the company could take on a technology partner. South Korean brand, Samsung SDI could be a potential partner, however, they are already working with Audi to create batteries for the new E-Tron electric crossover. In fact, Samsung SDI has already demonstrated their progress on solid state batteries at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year.

Another option that Audi has is to work with fellow automaker Volkswagen Group, to put the next generation batteries on the road. To be more specific, Porsche thinks that the parts could provide the performance specs to make an electric 911 a viable option.

It does not come as a surprise that Audi is researching a completely bonkers rival to the new 400 km/h Tesla Roadster and 355 kilometers per hour Rimac Concept One EV supercars. After all, they developed and then cancelled plans to introduce an all-electric E-Tron version of the previous generation Audi R8 way back in 2015.

Audi’s global boss of product and technology communications, Peter Oberndorfer, did confirm to Motoring.com.au that they have discussed a potential rival of the powerful 800kW/1600Nm Rimac. However, they did not divulge any specific details. This is where he mentioned that battery development for an EV supercar must be needed first. He added that you will need an advanced battery if you will go very fast traveling from Munich to Nurburgring.

Going back to the topic of solid state batteries, many other automakers are looking into the development of solid state tech too. For instance, Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda are working together to create a production ready component, and battery firms like Panasonic and GS Yuasa have become involved as well.

Why solid state batteries? The name comes from using a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid like in existing EVs. This latter allows for much higher energy densities for extending a vehicle’s driving range.

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