Will these batteries function at all in winter in the NE and Mid-west USA?
Few people will buy a car just for summer. So if a car cannot function in the winter months it is useless.
A big part of the USA and all of Canada are subject to sub-zero temperatures.
And batteries typically have extreme problems with sub-zero weather.
Lead acid batteries can be charged at -20C (-4F) while NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion batteries cannot be normally charged below 0C (32F).
At –20°C (–4°F) most nickel-, lead- and lithium-based batteries stop functioning. Although NiCd can go down to –40°C (-40°F), the permissible discharge is almost just a trickle.
In winter, for existing lead acid batteries, this is mitigated using a lead acid battery that tolerates cold better, by the battery being inside the engine compartment, heated by the engine (and in Canada, when the engine is off, heated by the plug-in electric block heater that runs off the mains), or by heat retained by the engine compartment when it is parked in a semi-heated garage.
The roof, boot/trunk and doors do not get heat from the engine compartment. These proposed large flat batteries have huge surfaces area to radiate any retained garage heat from.
If the outside temperature is -20C, the roof, doors and hood are going to quickly reach -20C while driving. Same with -40C.
So who well will these batteries perform in sub-zero weather that we have for months at a time in winter?