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Charged with billions in capital, meet the 9 startups developing tomorrow’s batteries today –

Ford began production yesterday his F-150 Lightning, self-propelled truck – and the United States – the world’s best-selling car converting gas engines into powerful electric motors loaded with more than 1,800 pounds of battery.

The mattress pad can provide more than 300 different miles, but if Ford wants to beat the weekend warriors pulling the 28-foot boats, it will need better batteries.

While batteries today can store more energy than ever before – they have increased energy density by 5% per year over the past few years – steady, steady growth may not be enough to make EVs more customers. Today’s cells are generally better than they were five years ago, but they still have a long way to go. What is needed is some progress.

EVs are a small part of the general market for cars and trucks, but they make up almost 80% of the demand for lithium-ion batteries, remote devices such as laptops and phones. Demand is growing. The world is expected to need 5,500 GWh of batteries by 2030, sida Wood Mackenzie, a 5x increase today, due to a change in consumer tastes and upcoming phases of petrol cars.

Over the next five years, the battery world is poised to undergo a major transformation. I sorted out a long list of start-up companies to find the nine most exciting technology producers so that batteries can be lightweight, charged, and fast. In the last year and a half, they have collectively raised $ 4.1 billion – some of which has been channeled through companies for specific purposes, but most of it came from later stage operations and corporate cycles.

A strong government

Battery technology that has been receiving a lot of attention recently is a difficult situation, and for good reason. Motorists are spitting on the concept of EVs with a distance of more than 400 miles that can be charged in 15 minutes, which solid state batteries are able to provide.

Solid state batteries earn their name by replacing liquid electrolytes that transfer ions from one side of the battery to another with solid particles. Solid electrorotes offer several advantages. For one, they can prevent the growth of dendrites, stalactite-like lithium-like spikes that can make battery power. Dendrites grow easily in liquids, so batteries add ion-permeable filters to prevent dendrites from producing the difference between positive and negative electrodes.

If the filter is damaged, as happened with faulty Chevy Bolt battery packs, then dendrites can cause a short circuit that can trigger a fire.

Other solid electrolytes that can be used are lithium-metal batteries. In standard lithium-ion batteries, when lithium ions are located on the anode side, they are stored on a graph. Anodes graphite are inexpensive and stable, but they do add battery power. Destroying them will help simple batteries to store more energy, but lithium-metal anodes are prone to form dendrites. To prevent dendrites from growing long enough to slow down the battery, researchers are working on solid electrolytes that not only block stalactites, but also will not create problems with the highly active lithium at the anode.

Three companies in particular show promise in a difficult situation. One is Factorial, which raised $ 253 million, including $ 200 million for Series D which closed in January and was led by Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, a vehicle created by a combination of Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group French. The factory, headquartered in the Boston suburb of Woburn, Massachusetts, has been operating underground since last April.