Nissan has teamed up with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop the next big breakthrough in energy storage technology for electric vehicles – solid-state batteries. According to CBS News, solid-state batteries will replace the current lithium-ion cells by 2028.

The new technology promises to be a ‘game-changer’. It will halve the size of lithium-based batteries while making no compromises to range, plus it’s lighter and safe enough to be used in pacemakers, Nissan said. It also takes just 15 minutes for a full charge, instead of the hours needed for EVs today.

Besides NASA, Nissan is also teaming up with the University of California San Diego for the testing of various materials. The institution’s corporate vice president Kazuhiro Doi told reporters “both NASA and Nissan need the same kind of battery.”

They need what’s called the “original material informatics platform,” a computerised database to test various combinations to see what works best among hundreds of thousands of materials, Doi added. The goal is to avoid the use of expensive rare-earth metals needed for lithium-ion batteries.

Nissan will lean on its experience of making EVs – the battery in the Leaf (which the automaker has sold over 500,000 units globally) hasn’t had any major accidents thus far. Some parts of the technology can be carried over, such as the lamination of the battery cell.

Other automakers such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are all working on developing solid-state batteries. BMW, for example, plans to roll out a demo vehicle with solid-state batteries by 2025.