Sponsored content | Author: Hiromi Kinukawa | Batteries are one of the most, or THE most and important elements of electric motorcycles. Lithium-ion battery is the main stream now due its reliability, price and performance. However, as most of you have heard, Solid State Battery is considered to be the next solution for electric vehicles. I was very lucky to visit KeraCel, one of the pioneer of Solid State Battery, and even more pioneer of 3D printing, to see the future of electric motorcycles.
KeraCel is the inventor of today’s revolutionary new battery that has doubled the energy with half the cost for equivalent energy compared to today’s best lithium ion batteries. It also eliminates the possibility of exploding or catching fire and is adaptable to be built in any shape or size.
Safer, more effective, less cost, in any shape
The most known and the most dangerous problem of Lithium-ion based battery is fire. Today, the technology has developed and the safety of Lithum-ion battery is much higher (however, lithium-ion battery still catches fire here and there).
Solid State Battery, by using Non-flammable solid monolithtic ceramic as electrolyte, has no danger of fire at all. Energy density will be 2~4 times higher than lithium-ion based batteries. Also cheaper cost.
Frame, swing arm as battery
The terms used above, safety, density and cost, are similar in advancement of current Lithium-ion batteries. However, what makes KeraCel unique and very attractive is that their battery can be shaped in any form using 3D printing technology (even tubular). As of now, the biggest battery KeraCel can produce is about the size of a laptop. To use as a battery for electric motorcycles like lithium-ion battery, 10 to 20 of them are required.
I had the chance to talk to Mr. Bagheri, CEO of KeraCel and he affirmed me that the physical strength of KeraCel’s battery is strong enough to hold or to release shock from motorcycle riding. On my next question if a motorcycle frame was made of KeraCel’s battery, could it bend?, he replied: “No, however, it is possible to combine the battery with other materials”
A part of the main frame can be battery and the other part in aluminium or other material.
This is a great future for electric motorcycles. Sub-frame can be stiff, stem can be stiff, top bridge as well, so Solid State Battery can replace them. Then main frame can be a hybrid of Solid State Battery with aluminium or steel to add ridigity to perform same as current motorcycle frame.
Also, swing arm can be part ceramic and part aluminium or other material. With KeraCel’s Solid State Battery and 3D printing technology, swing arm itself can be a battery.
I am not an engineer, I cannot say all this is 100% possible, but if there is a possibility, it does advance the future of electric motorcycles way ahead.
The weight of the battery is the biggest issue on electric motorcycles. If you can eliminate it by using the battery as part of the frame or another part of the chassis, it does lighten electric motorcycles in huge volume.
How lighter the vehicle, how longer the range or higher the performance. With higher energy density and lower cost, as well as safer component of Solid State Battery, I can see only a bright future of electric motorcycles.
Mass production ready
There are many start-ups developing Solid State Battery but most of them are not capable of mass producing, yet. Since Solid State Battery needs to go through various production procedures, a big factory with different production lines is required. Solid State Battery is considered the future but not in near future.
Not for KeraCel.
I wish I could show you the slides Mr. Bagheri showed me of their mass production plant image. It is way smaller than current lithium-ion battery factories and it is very effective and less hassle. Increasing production can be done by just adding 3D printers. There is no need to add or to change lines to produce more.
In addition, KeraCel’s recent strategic partnership with Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd. should help KeraCel’s R&D, commercialization and mass production planning.
It won’t be in a year or two, but I cannot wait to see a Frame+battery solution to electric motorcycles. More efficient and more performance with less cost means more happy riders!
To contact KeraCel, please mail to firstname.lastname@example.org