Mercedes-Benz’s latest electric city bus uses solid-state batteries

Lithium-ion battery technology has made impressive gains over the years. Today’s cells are cheaper than before, but lithium-ion still leaves much to be desired in terms of energy density compared to liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Which means that putting enough volume in the car to give it an acceptable range adds a lot of mass and volume. That is where solid state batteries come in.

In a conventional battery, a pair of electrodes is immersed in an electrolyte solution, and it is this liquid electrolyte that allows ions to move from one electrode to another. But liquid electrolytes can leak, and this is not a great thing, whether the material is highly corrosive, such as in lead-acid batteries, or highly flammable, as in lithium-ion batteries. So researchers around the world are experimenting with batteries that use a solid electrolyte, especially when using them in electric vehicles.

And now, it appears to be a technology that is ready to be deployed, as Mercedes-Benz announced that its new eCitaro and eCitaro G city buses developed in a combination of Canada’s electric roof-mounted concrete States will be available with a battery pack. Company Hydro Quebec.

Although details are still limited, Mercedes-Benz states that solid-state packs have 25 percent higher energy density than the most advanced lithium-ion chemistry. It also states that solid-state batteries have a better service life than lithium-ion and are warrantying these batteries through an energy of 10 years or 280MWh. When configured with a total of 441kWh onboard (made up of seven 63kWh packs), the eCitaro G has a range of up to 137 miles (220 km) in favorable conditions, or 105 miles (in winter depths) with a bus heater. 170 km).

However, these solid-state batteries are not perfect. In particular, they are not able to charge faster than lithium-ion rates, which is why Mercedes-Benz is also offering the bus with an optional lithium-ion pack called 150kW or even That can be charged at 300kW. It uses a nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry and comes in assemblies of 33kWh that can be combined to deliver a bus of up to 396kWh in total.

Image listed by Mercedes-Benz

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