Ex-Tesla Engineer Says Solid-State Batteries Are A ‘False Hope’

Now at the helm of Sila Nanotechnologies, he believes lithium-ion cells will reach $50/kWh in ten years.

The whole world currently bets solid-state batteries will be a revolution in energy storage. Some bet even their own money on that, such as Volkswagen and Bill Gates are doing with QuantumScape. But there’s a man that begs to disagree: Gene Berdichevsky. If you are not familiar with the name, he was the engineer in charge of the Roadster battery pack. After leaving Tesla, he started Sila Nanotechnologies and said SSBs are a “false hope.”

We know that because of a white paper he released with the other co-founder of Sila Nanotechnologies, Gleb Yushin. In that document, both men also predict that the future lies in lithium-ion. They believe it will reach a price of $50/kWh in the next five to ten years.

That would happen with the help of two new kinds of cathodes, based either on metal fluoride or sulfur. The white paper says that pairing them with silicon anode may lead to the $50/kWh price by 2030 and $30/kWh by 2040.

Also, according to the paper, solid-state batteries face several technical difficulties that would be very challenging to overcome. Apart from dendrite formation, their solid electrolytes would be prone to micro-cracking, for example. There is also an issue with the investments currently being made.

All battery factories currently being built aim to manufacture regular lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state cells would probably require different machinery and building technics that would demand more investments should they prove to work.

In other words, as disruptive as lithium-ion cells were to legacy automakers and their investments in internal combustion engines, solid-state batteries would also represent a massive disruption on the investments currently made on regular lithium-ion batteries.

Both authors say they would be glad to be wrong about these predictions for the sake of the electric car revolution, but are they? The discussion they raise is very relevant, especially if no company presents a feasible solid-state battery as soon as possible.

The whole white paper deserves your attention. Make sure you read it in the link below: it also provides interesting points about the role of batteries in intermittent renewable energy sources and how the million-mile battery could help with that.

Source: Sila Nanotechnologies

This article originally appeared on Inside EVs.


May 6, 2020
Offcourse one needs to overcome issues and challenges and problems. That's the hole point about the uncertainty in everything.

Also that next Li-Ion thing will have is challenges.
In production and supply and quality.

In every solution mankind found we overcame these type of problems. Maybe the solution is a semi solid state battery. Who knows?
We will see.

Personally I don't think VW and Gates invest heavily in something which isn't fixable.


May 6, 2020
Yeah but the problem is that they follow a customer and when they see that their customer actually wants something different they are already 2/3/4 years behind. Remember that mobile phone brand Nokia? Same story...VW has been just on time i think...ID3 and ID4 are almost there...and Diesels wheren't banned quickly enough and they had income from petrol.

Anyway the fact stays there. 300Milion Dollars is money. and you aren't increasing your stake from 100 to 300 if you have doubts...


Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
Austin, TX