Vietnamese automaker VinFast has announced it’s partnering with Taiwanese battery company ProLogium Technology to develop solid-state batteries for its vehicles.
Solid-state battery technology is being widely worked on and is seen as a potential game-changer because, compared to popular lithium-ion or lithium iron phosphate chemistries, it can theoretically offer greater range, less mass, and faster charging.
The two companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for VinFast to secure ProLogium’s proprietary solid-state battery technology.
It’s not ProLogium’s first deal with an automaker, as it recently announced a partnership with Mercedes-Benz.
In addition to VinFast’s partnership with ProLogium, the Vietnamese automaker is also investing “tens of millions” US dollars in ProLogium.
Under current arrangements, ProLogium plans to provide solid-state battery cells to VinFast from 2024 onward to “support its next-generation line-up”.
These battery cells will be developed at ProLogium’s first “major” solid-state battery production plant, which is slated to start production in early 2023.
ProLogium claims it will “devote a significant portion of the facility’s production capacity to supply VinFast”.
In the future the two companies say they may establish a joint-venture solid-state battery factory in Vietnam.
Currently, VinFast has a production plant in Hai Phong, Vietnam, which was opened in 2019.
It’s has previously said this plant will have the capacity to produce a dizzying 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.
VinFast is currently building a battery plant in Ha Trinh, Vietnam with a capacity of five gigawatt hours per year. The company says it should be running at full capacity from late 2022.
The Vietnamese automaker also recently announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in the USA in partnership with the state of North Carolina.
VinFast is investing up to $US2 billion ($A2.93 billion) in what it’s calling “phase 1” of the factory, with construction to begin this year and vehicle production expected to start in July 2024.
ProLogium isn’t the only company gearing up to produce solid-state batteries.
Solid Power, which has existing partnerships with Ford and BMW, has recently said it will be delivering its solid-state batteries for “qualification testing” by the end of 2022.
Nissan recently unveiled its prototype solid-state battery production facility at its Research Centre in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
The Japanese automaker is leading solid-state battery development for its alliance partners – Renault and Nissan – and plans to launch an electric vehicle (EV) with its proprietary all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) in fiscal year 2028.
Toyota also said that it has been testing solid-state batteries since 2020 and plans to first introduce them in its hybrid vehicles, before rolling them out in upcoming EVs.
It says that a short service life is the primary concern with the solid-state batteries, and is therefore continuing development of solid electrolyte materials. Performance in colder temperatures is also an issue.
Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz announced in late 2021 they’d signed joint agreements with US-based Factorial Energy to develop solid-state batteries for their vehicles.
The companies aim to introduce their “first competitive solid-state battery technology” by 2026.
Hyundai and Kia have also partnered with Factorial Energy to test its solid-state batteries in their EVs.
In December 2020, Volkswagen-backed company QuantumScape announced it’ll have its solid-state batteries ready for production in 2024, while GM’s battery development centre in Warren, Michigan will develop solid-state batteries among other battery types, include silicon.