With the development of storage batteries becoming active against the backdrop of the electrification of cars, a large-scale exhibition "Battery Japan" that introduced the latest products and technologies began in Tokyo on the 3rd.

At the exhibition, we will introduce various storage batteries and new materials developed for automobiles and electric appliances by more than 100 companies in Japan and overseas.

Of these, Hitachi Zosen is introducing "all-solid-state batteries," which are expected to be next-generation storage batteries.

All-solid-state batteries are solid-state batteries in which the part that stores electricity is a solidified sulfide-based or oxide-based substance, and this part is less likely to deteriorate than liquid lithium-ion batteries, and is said to have high performance in storing electricity. I am.

The company's all-solid-state battery is characterized by its stable operation from a low temperature of -40 degrees Celsius to a high temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or higher, and is expected to be used for space stations and artificial satellites.

At other venues, Honda is introducing replaceable storage batteries that can be used in electric bikes, and Toyota Motor is also exhibiting a fuel cell system that generates electricity by reacting hydrogen and oxygen.

Governments and manufacturers in each country are focusing on development and investment of such storage batteries, expecting that demand will increase dramatically in the future due to the electrification of vehicles and the spread of renewable energy for decarbonization.

This exhibition is open at Tokyo Big Sight until the 5th.

Research and development to activate storage batteries

In the field of storage batteries, research and development and investment are becoming active worldwide in view of the electrification of vehicles and the spread of renewable energy.

Currently, lithium-ion batteries are the mainstream of storage batteries, and the private research company "Fuji Keizai" predicts that the global market for car batteries will reach 6.74 trillion yen in 2024 and 2019. It is expected to expand 2.6 times.

Japan used to take the lead in the production of lithium-ion batteries, but now Chinese and Korean manufacturers have a high share.

According to research firm Techno System Research, the global market share in 2019 will be 39% for Chinese manufacturers, 26% for Korean manufacturers, 23% for Japanese manufacturers, and 15 for Japanese manufacturers. It's more than a point.

On the other hand, in the case of "all-solid-state batteries," which are considered to be the next-generation batteries for lithium-ion batteries, the active research and development of Japanese companies is conspicuous.

According to NEDO = New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan accounts for 37% of the patents filed between 2001 and 2018, exceeding 28% in China and 16% in the United States.

In terms of the number of applications by company, Toyota Motor has the largest number, and Japanese companies account for 8 of the top 10 companies, and it is expected that there is a possibility of becoming a new growth industry in the future.

Bringing together technologies Practical use of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles

There is a project in which companies and research institutes are working together to bring all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles into practical use at an early stage.

A research facility in Ikeda City, Osaka, and the Lithium Ion Battery Material Evaluation and Research Center of the Technology Research Association are proceeding with a project to develop an all-solid-state battery for five years from FY2018.

In addition to major automobile manufacturers, engineers from 23 companies with strengths in technologies such as batteries and materials have gathered to develop in collaboration with researchers from 15 research institutes in Japan, including Tokyo Institute of Technology.

The project commissioned by NEDO aims to take the initiative in this field by bringing together domestic technologies to put them into practical use as soon as possible as the development competition for all-solid-state batteries intensifies worldwide.

In the project, we are exploring materials that can store more electricity and researching methods to check performance and safety, and in November last year we developed a prototype of an all-solid-state battery.

The prototype raises the "energy density," which is an indicator of the amount of electricity stored, to the same level as the lithium-ion batteries currently used in EVs.

In the future, we are aiming to find a material that stores more electricity in order to extend the mileage of EVs and to double the energy density.

Mikiya Shimada, the project leader, said, "If research institutes and all manufacturers cooperate, we will surely become the world leader and lead. We can increase the degree of freedom of electric vehicles and contribute to the future development of electric vehicles. I think it will have an impact that can be done. "