Chemistry Roadmap

The battery chemistry roadmap or perhaps this should be roadmaps tend to be group by technology. The main group being lithium based batteries where the energy densities are high, heavily used in transport and grid applications. Hence the lithium roadmaps are used to drive research funding.

There are also industry lead roadmaps for lead acid batteries.

Lithium Chemistry Roadmap

chemistry generations

The chemistry generations table is a good starting point to look at what is next in the Lithium battery chemistry world.

In 2022 we are in Generation 3a and possibly 3b if you include NMC9½½ as a HE-NMC.

However, the way production materials are developing it feels like there will be a Generation 3c before Generation arrives after 2030.

Note: we added Generation 0 as this was the first commercial chemistry that Sony made as the first lithium rechargeable cell in 1991 and based on the Nobel prize winning chemistry of Goodenough, Whittingham, and Yoshino.

Lithium Sulfur – Perhaps the most mature of the beyond Li-ion’ battery chemistries with a potential energy density of >600Wh/kg. Also with the potential for substantially reduced costs and improved safety. However, a number of challenges mean that cycle life has been poor. Hence the potential attracts attention and much needed research at the fundamental chemistry stage.

Sodium Chemistry Roadmap

Lower energy density than lithium based chemistries, but lower cost and it bypasses the difficulties of sourcing lithium. Sodium chemistry has the potential to displace Lead Acid and Lithium Iron Phosphate.


Function very similar to lithium-ion batteries, comparable energy density to lithium-ion along with potential for improvement as there are double the electrons for every individual magnesium ion. Magnesium is more abundant than lithium. However, there are a lot more possible side reactions with magnesium-ion.


Any battery technology that uses solid electrodes and solid electrolyte. This offers potential improvements in energy density and safety, but has very significant challenges with cycling, manufacturing and durability of the solid sandwich.

Dual Intercalating

Dual-ion batteries are thus named because of the simultaneous intercalation of anions into the cathode and cations into the anode during the charging process (reversed during discharge). The cations and anions are taken from and released to the electrolyte and thus the ion concentration in the electrolyte has a significant gradient versus SoC. The anode is a metal such as Li, Na, K. The cathode is graphite or an organic compound.

The significant advantage is that dual-intercalating or dual-ion batteries have high voltages and high-energy densities.


Seen as a replacement for lithium and possibly the post-lithium technology with “up to 7x the Wh/kg” of current Lithium technology.


  1. The Faraday Institution, “High-energy battery technologies”, FARADAY REPORT – JANUARY 2020
  2. EU Commission, “Roadmap on Advanced Materials for Batteries”, Working Group 3
  3. Nuria Tapia-Ruiz et al, “2021 roadmap for sodium-ion batteries”, Journal of Physics: Energy
  4. Steen, M., Lebedeva, N., Di Persio, F., Boon-Brett, L., “EU Competitiveness in Advanced Li-ion Batteries for E-Mobility and Stationary Storage Applications – Opportunities and Actions“, Joint Research Centre, “
  5. NASA Battery Research & Development Overview, Cody O’Meara, Bri DeMattia, NASA Glenn Research Center in collaboration with NASA JPL and ARC