South Korean electric vehicle battery manufacturers are increasing their efforts to start the mass production of all-solid-state batteries as early as possible. At present, the global leader in the industry is Japan.
The growth of the industry began to accelerate in 2019 along with that of the electric vehicle industry. Japanese battery companies began to develop the technology in as early as 2010. At that time, they predicted that any commercial use of the technology would take at least 10 years and it would take years for South Korea as a late starter to catch up.
Of the three South Korean companies, Samsung SDI has the largest number of patents regarding the technology and is planning to start the mass production of sulfide-based ASSBs in 2027 and SK On is planning to do so in 2030. LG Energy Solution is aiming to initiate the manufacturing of polymer-based and sulfide-based ASSBs in 2026 and 2030, respectively.
“According to their plans, the South Korean companies are likely to be a couple of years behind the Japanese companies including Toyota, and yet this does not mean lagging behind in terms of technological strength,” said an industry source, adding, “This is because lithium-ion batteries will be completely replaced with ASSBs in five years at the earliest and the South Korean companies are superior when it comes to hybrid and electric vehicle partnerships.”
ASSBs are divided into polymer-, oxide-, and sulfide-based ones depending on the composition of the electrolyte. An oxide-based ASSB is high in resistance, not suitable for electric vehicles, and suitable for small batteries. A polymer-based ASSB can be produced with ease in spite of low ion conductivity. A sulfide-based ASSB is highly ion-conductive and safe and yet cannot be produced easily.