The world’s first swappable solid state EV battery prototype has been unveiled by Gogoro, the firm behind what has become the de facto standard for swappable batteries in light electric vehicles.
ProLogium Technology, a solid state battery industry leader with experience in Lithium Ceramic Batteries, collaborated on the battery’s development (LCBs).
The new battery prototype, according to Gogoro CEO and founder Horace Luke, uses Gogoro’s proprietary battery management system and physical case/connection, and depends on ProLogium’s solid state battery cell technology for energy storage.
The new solid state battery prototype was introduced by Gogoro, a Taipei-based battery, and electric vehicle business, this morning, with Taiwanese reporters being the first to test the new battery in Gogoro’s electric scooters.
Gogoro is known for its interchangeable battery technology. Over one million of the company’s lunchbox-size batteries have been developed, which can be swapped out in seconds at thousands of battery swap stations to immediately “recharge” light electric vehicles such as scooters and motorbikes. Gogoro makes its own best-selling electric scooters, but large companies like Yamaha collaborate with the company to use Gogoro batteries in their own electric scooters.
The new solid-state Gogoro battery pack, which is still under development, is reported to be capable of increasing Gogoro’s existing 1.7 kWh per battery capacity to a whopping 2.5 kWh. With a 40 percent increase in energy density, the range would expand by the same amount.
Solid-state batteries also have significant safety benefits: They are almost fireproof.
Dendrites cannot breach the plastic separator in LCBs because of the thin but durable ceramic layer, which is a main cause of the extremely uncommon but fatal lithium-ion battery fires. As a result, the batteries can charge faster, compared to ProLogium’s previous estimates of 12-minute charge times.
Gogoro’s quest toward solid-state batteries appears to be motivated by a combination of increased range and improved safety.
Because it’s critical that we take advantage of the latest battery advances to usher in a new era of electric transportation growth and adoption in our cities, Gogoro is introducing the world’s first solid-state battery enabling two-wheel battery switching. We collaborated on this new battery with ProLogium Technologies, a global pioneer in solid-state battery innovation, to deliver increased energy density for improved range, stability, and safety, and it is backward compatible with all previous Gogoro-powered vehicles.
Vincent Yang, ProLogium’s CEO and founder is equally enthusiastic about the Gogoro partnership’s future commercial prospects:
As leading global battery innovators, Gogoro and ProLogium have partnered to jointly design solid state battery prototypes that integrate with Gogoro’s battery swapping network and two-wheel vehicles Solid state battery technologies present a new phase in the future of electric vehicles, and we look forward to advancing this Gogoro prototype battery into a commercial offering in the future.
This is unquestionably a watershed moment in the electric vehicle battery business. In light electric vehicles like electric scooters and motorbikes, swappable batteries are essential. They enable owners to charge their vehicles even if they do not have access to a garage or on-street charging stations. The 9.5 kilogram (21 lb) Gogoro battery may simply be withdrawn from the vehicle and swapped for a fully charged battery at one of Gogoro’s exchanging stations.
Before you get too enthusiastic, Gogoro doesn’t appear to be stocking these new solid-state batteries in its thousands of exchanging stations. This is still very much a prototype, and I’m not sure it’s commercializable enough for Gogoro to justify it monetarily. With its swappable battery design, the company is demonstrating what is possible, as almost any sort of battery cell may be used (Gogoro currently employs 21700-format cells, but its case design can work equally well with a pouch or prismatic cells, which appear to be the type of cells that ProLogium produces).
Another intriguing point to ponder is that higher-energy-density batteries may open up the possibility of using them in light-electric four-wheeled vehicles such as quadricycles or NEVs. A typical golf cart’s battery capacity ranges from 2.5 to 5 kWh. That implies it could easily be powered by one or two of these Gogoro batteries.
The renowned “$5,000 Wuling Mini” electric car has battery options of 9, 13, and 26 kWh (don’t get me started on how it’s not actually a “$5,000” car). Three to five Gogoro batteries would be required for the first two. It might be a bit much to take out ten batteries for the longest-range version. It would be absurd to have a dozen removable batteries at some point, but a handful could mean the difference between EV ownership and non-EV ownership for folks who simply don’t have a convenient spot to plugin.
Imagine driving up to a battery swap station with 5% charge remaining in your batteries, doing the functional equivalent of unloading groceries, and then driving away with a 100 percent charge three minutes later. Please, sign me up.