Solid State Batteries Could Reduce EV Carbon Footprint...If They Can  Make it Out of the Lab

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Solid State Batteries Could Reduce EV Carbon Footprint...If They Can  Make it Out of the Lab
Roberto Sorin via Unsplash

Solid state batteries (SSBs) have been touted as the future of energy storage–especially in the EV sector–for what feels like time eternal. Switching from a liquid electrolyte to a solid should allow for faster charging, longer ranges, better safety, and better battery life.

A new study from Transport and Environment (T&E), a European NGO that advocates for cleaner transport, suggests that solid state batteries may have environmental upside.


Let’s address an important caveat here: No mass market consumer EVs are currently powered by solid state batteries. Zero. This is an emerging and complex technology that has yet to prove itself in the real world. Having said that, reasons to continue working on these batteries of the future keep adding up.

The new analysis from T&E claims that switching from current lithium ion batteries to solid state technology could cut the carbon footprint of EVs by 24-39%. Their life-cycle analysis shows that the lion’s share of carbon savings comes from the fact that solid state technology uses less materials. Less material means fewer emissions from the manufacturing process.

The study also outlined areas in the supply chain that would create the most emissions. For SSBs, lithium mining could be a “hotspot’ due to the solid state chemistry requiring an average of 35% more lithium than current nickel-manganese-cobalt-lithium (NMC-811), lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) or lithium-iron-manganese-phosphate (LFMP) constructions.

To mitigate these impacts, the authors emphasize the importance of moving towards more sustainable lithium mining practices. In particular, the report shows that switching to brine and geothermal lithium sources could reduce the global warming potential by about 45% compared to traditional mining methods that extract the metal from rocks.

While widespread commercialization is likely still a few years away, the race to market for SSB tech has never been hotter. Among Californian EV startups, Vinfast says it’s targeting 2024, while their competitor Mullen Automotive has said SSBs may show up in their EVs by 2025. . San Jose-based QuantumScape, one of the largest names in the field, expects to deliver full scale prototypes to its partner Volkswagen on roughly the same timeline. Toyota is working in-house on a competitor, and Colorado-based Solid Power is still in the mix with backing from BMW and Ford.

How it all shakes out is anyone’s guess. From an investor’s perspective, the correct guess could potentially be worth billions. It could be even more valuable to the health of the planet.

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Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup
Photo by Ryz Labs

RYZ Labs wants to be a one-stop shop for startups looking to scale up and add new talent.

California natives Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler created RYZ Labs, and their résumés make it clear they’ve got the knowledge and experience necessary to help others hit the ground running. In 2006, the pair launched California Burrito Co., a chain restaurant with international reach; in 2013, they founded the “Uber for Laundry,” Washio. Add in Metzner’s five years at Amazon and Nadler’s time at Lyft, and you have a potent combination of industry savvy and entrepreneurial flair.

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