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Solid-state batteries are making their way into production sooner than expected, and two well-known carmakers are tagging along for the ride.

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Many companies are trying to "crack the code" of the next-generation battery. Some have made significant progress. And one technology in particular appears to be the early leader... Well, that leader just took a huge step forward.

Even though Solid Power (SLPD) is a smaller player in the battery space, it's making big waves. The company is beginning its initial production of solid-state batteries, and carmakers like BMW (BMWYY) and Ford (F) should be able to test the technology by the end of the year.

This is big news. These batteries could significantly increase electric vehicles' ("EVs") range and reduce their charging time – two of the major hurdles for mainstream adoption today. The future of transportation is one of my top investment themes for the Roaring 2020s. And next-gen battery technology and EVs are two niches fueling the overall megatrend.

There are massive tailwinds at work here that will continue to propel this space in the coming years. The battery market is expected to grow from $27 billion in 2021 to $155 billion by 2028 – a nearly 6X increase in just seven years. And by the end of 2040, Morgan Stanley believes the battery market will be worth $525 billion. In other words, this trend won't be short-lived. The battery revolution is here to stay, and it's just going to get bigger and bigger.

Lithium-ion batteries – the most common battery tech in use today – can be found in most of our electronics. They power EVs and are essential for renewable energy storage systems, too. But lithium-ion technology is not our future. Instead, newer technologies like solid-state batteries are starting to gain market share. These batteries don't have a liquid or gel electrolyte like their lithium-ion counterparts. Instead, they use a solid electrolyte. This difference is crucial because they can be lighter, smaller, and store more energy than a standard battery.

Solid Power's recent announcement puts it a step ahead of its competition in this space. But it's far from the only player. QuantumScape (QS) is another solid-state battery firm that has already attracted a lot of cash from investors – including automotive giant Volkswagen (VWAGY). And I recently published a report for my McCall Report subscribers that recommends four of my favorite companies to play this hypergrowth megatrend. All four stocks are still buyable at current prices, but I don't expect them to stay that way for long.

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