Solid-state battery pilot plant purchased for STLA BEVs

Lithium-ion batteries, despite their almost miraculous ability to store and deliver energy, have some issues when used in cars, most notably the difficulty of dealing with (rare) fires. Many believe the next generation of batteries will use solid electrolyte material, which increases safety and range.

Stellantis had already set up an agreement with “solid state” LiOn battery maker Factorial Energy, where they funded commercialization of Factorial’s design. That agreement took another step this week.

Factorial CEO Siyu Huang and solid state battery
Factorial CEO Siyu Huang and solid state battery

According to Detroit News, Stellantis’ battery supplier, Samsung, bought a plant in Massachusetts with the intent of starting pilot production of Factorial’s batteries. The investment, at $45 million, furthers Stellantis’ goal of using Factorial batteries in 2026. The technology may be needed to achieve STLA’s 500-mile range goal for the STLA Large and Frame platforms. Factorial was the first company to reach the 40 amp-hour benchmark with solid state technology, which allows range to be extended by up to 50% at similar cost, and, again, with less risk of fire.

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Factorial co-founder and CEO Siyu Huang said when the first deal was signed, “It is a great honor to partner with Stellantis, a leading global mobility player, which has some of the most iconic auto brands in the world.”

Factorial also has agreements with Mercedes and Hyundai-Kia. Samsung has multiple battery customers.

The Factorial Electrolyte System Technology should be a drop-in replacement for existing lithium-ion technologies.

In other news, researchers have developed aluminum-based batteries which eject lithium entirely and can store more energy per pound at much lower cost, with faster recharge times (e.g. 18 minutes for a car); however, the technology requires maintaining a temperature of at least 90°C during use at this time. If the research pans out, working batteries may be years away, but could be a major leap in affordability and recharge times—especially if the 90°C requirement can be worked around. Even with the 90°C, the aluminum-based batteries could help with automotive affordability by filling the utility-scale battery niche, which would reduce demand for lithium-ion battery materials.

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vbondjr1

Here is the issue with this whole electrification thing where the Mopar brand is concerned, more specifically Dodge. This new Technology is wonderful in itself. Whether it’s cleaner, relevant or anything. The Tech is in itself, cool. For the 95% of modern people who aren’t really looking for the experience of what it is be a Dodge owner, to be a part of the brotherhood of muscle and all of what that entails, these cars are great. The fact that engineers are working towards having faster recharging times, less chances of fires and all of that stuff is immensely important and for the safety of road goers and insurance reason and all of that kind of stuff, these breakthroughs are great. But then there are the 5% of us (myself included) who are genuine gearheads, muscle enthusiasts, hot rodders and those of us who favor the traditional internal combustion engine. We enjoy the hobby, we enjoy wrenching under the hood, adding cold air intakes, exhaust systems, headers and all of that sort of stuff. It’s awesome that Dodge thought of us with the E-Rupt Transmission, the Fratzonic exhaust system, the wonderful interior and retro styling of the concept car that was just released. It’s the authenticity that is missing. Okay let me see if I can break this down a bit. We all get the pipe organ thing with the Fratzonic chamber exhaust and the E-Rupt transmission system and from the basic explanation T.K gave at the reveal, this is not a speaker system per-say but more of an amplification system of the actual sound of the electric motor. It is loud and aggressive but it sounds wrong to most of us. Not because it doesn’t sound like a V8 because a Viper sounds awesome but because it just sounds wrong. It’s a little weird. Also, an American muscle car isn’t all about finesse, (something the Camaro forgot about), it’s about character and connection. I’m not referring to the technology connection of always being connected, I’m referring to the connection between the person and the car. It’s an emotional connection and it’s not always about the most horsepower, it’s the characteristic of the car that matches the energy of the person, the situation, the road. It’s the touch, the feel, the smell. To open the hood of an electric car, there is nothing really familiar that we, the 5% can connect with. I can open the hood of a Charger 392 and the familiar things are there that have mostly been there since the 60’s. A cam in the middle of the block, pushrods, heads, headers, radiator, etc. There is nothing under the hood of an electric car that is going to make your chest swell up with pride. You can’t connect with the heart of the car anymore. Owning a muscle car is an actual relationship. There is love there is a connection. You can’t have that with an electric car. It’s not organic. The voice this car has is synthetic. It’s the genuine difference between a pipe organ and an electric organ. Or better yet, a saxophone and a keyboard. A saxophone has air breathing through it and the bell amplifies the sound of the air that is being pushed through it. A keyboard can imitate the sound of a saxophone through a speaker but it’s no where near the same sound. While yes vibrations are being pushed through the air at a similar pitch and tone, the difference is clear. I’m not knocking the idea and the direction that Dodge is going, I understand that this is what it’s going to take for them to be relevant. It is the method of which they are doing what they are doing. Like I stated above, this new technology stuff is great and I hope it does work. To be honest, Dodge (Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram) would be the ONLY brand I would want to buy an electric vehicle from, quite honestly it’s the only brand I want to buy vehicles from, PERIOD! The thing is, (and yes they are doing things differently), the Dodge vehicles (this goes for Jeep and Ram as well) need to offer that connection, that emotion, that love. That these kinds of vehicles are known for. Tesla succeeds because Tesla doesn’t have to be that, brands like that can succeed without the connection because they aren’t designed to be connected with. Kia, Hyundai, Buick, Lincoln, Lucid, and alot of other brands don’t need to have connections because the people who buy them don’t care about their car more than it just being a basic means of transportation or just a show off piece to brag about. Those cars are fine to be pretty shells on the outside and empty, airy and minimalistic on the inside. Muscle cars don’t have that luxury, that’s what separates them from the other cars. It’s not just the power, its about being relatable and also affordable.
While I like the Charger Concept and I would definitely buy something like this, to me, even with all it has, it’s not really practical to have a car that large as a coupe. taking this platform and the new EV technology that’s coming out, I’d blend this Daytona Banshee with the ’99 Concept a bit more The ’99 Concept’s four-door coupe approach would be much better along with the Banshee front end, and taillamp design and would bring back the door scallops. I’d also blend a bit of the current charger in this as well with a bit more of the ground effects (especially on the sides) from the standard body Hellcat along with adding a much needed spoiler on the trunk. The two car’s already share a very similar hood design so having a reverse opening hood wouldn’t be terrible (not like were changing plugs on this thing). Also, this new powertrain needs to have some more familiar features, something that can be tinkered with. Cooling upgrades or something! For me, personally, that exhaust needs to be tuned to sound more like the Viper V10 and less like the Wraith! that was geeky cool in the ’80’s that’s not cool now. Honestly, as crazy as this may sound, engine covers wouldn’t hurt. No Frunks! Granted I’m being a bit computer geeky right now having similar upgrades to the cooling upgrade systems in computers wouldn’t be a bad idea. Just have it designed more aftermarket automotive style. The new direction isn’t completely horrible. It needs alot of work but i may not be as bad as some of us might think. If it’s done right. I have faith the guys at Dodge might be able to pull it off.