The challenge of solid polymer electrolyte batteries for automotive applications

Daniel Brandell

Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden

All solid-state batteries are today attracting significant interest from both industry and academia, due to their inherent better safety, potentially higher energy density and less rapid ageing as compared to counterparts utilizing liquid electrolytes. For batteries utilizing solid (solvent-free) polymer electrolytes, the field has for long been dominated by polyethers, not least poly (ethylene oxide) PEO. Recently, however, other categories of polymer host materials have emerged: polycarbonates, polyesters, polyalcohols, polynitriles, polyimides, etc. [1]. These surpass polyethers in terms of ionic conductivity, transport numbers, mechanical stability, room temperature functionality, capabilities to be synthetically tailored, hygroscopicity, or electrochemical stability, although neither of the ‘alternative’ polymer hosts possess all these potential attractive properties. There also exist several fundamental challenges to address before this category of materials can be employed in automotive batteries, not least their conductivity at temperatures below 50 °C. This presentation will highlight routes forward for solid polymer electrolytes intended for electric vehicle batteries in the context of recent development intended for Li- and Li-ion cells, where polymer properties will be correlated to electrochemical performance.


  1. Mindemark, M.J. Lacey, T. Bowden, D. Brandell, Prog. Polym. Sci. 81, 114 (2018)