Solid-state battery company Ilika Technologies is leading a 24-month, £8-million (US$9.9-million) Faraday Battery Challenge collaboration project. The HISTORY (HIgh Silicon content anOdes for a solid-state batteRY) project will start on 1 February 2023 and focus on integrating high silicon content electrodes into Ilika’s Goliath SSB (solid state battery) for electric vehicles, to enable automotive-level performance.
Ilika will receive a grant of £2.8 million from the project and will partner with Nexeon, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of battery materials; sustainable manufacturing company HSSMI; experts from 3 of the UK’s top academic Universities (St Andrews, University College London and Imperial College); and technology innovation catalyst CPI, to model, characterize and deliver an automotive industry-defined SSB by project end. BMW Group and WAE Technologies will join the project’s steering committee.
Solid state batteries with their solid electrolyte are expected to provide greater safety and performance in comparison to lithium-ion batteries which presently power electric vehicles and have a liquid electrolyte. The solid electrolyte is not only safer but also results in a higher cell-to-pack ratio, lighter vehicles, higher energy and power density, extended range and fast charging. In the HISTORY project, the UK-based partners will contribute to the development of a multi-layer, solid state pouch cell that meet the needs of electric vehicle pack developers.
Ilika will design and fabricate the SSB cell; Nexeon will develop a high silicon content electrode based on its low expansion NSP-2 material to be used in the anode of the SSB cell; HSSMI will deliver an SSB End of Life and Life Cycle Analysis; CPI will formulate inks with the silicon powders; University of St Andrews will characterise interface and materials interactions; University College London and Imperial College London will develop a modeling framework that can predict the electro-chemo-mechanical behavior and failure of cells and battery stacks for selected anode materials.
Georg Steinhoff, Head of R&D at BMW Motorsport Ltd, states: “At BMW Group we have more than 13 years of automotive battery cell development experience. Our battery cell technology know-how is a key success factor in our electrification strategy, as it defines both operational performance as well as vehicle cost. The development of all solid state batteries is an important and promising long term goal, to make future battery-electric vehicles even more sustainable and efficient. We are delighted to be part of Project HISTORY and to see the next developments in Ilika’s solid state battery technology.”
The project shows further support from the Faraday Battery Challenge on the development of Ilika’s Goliath SSBs, with previous funding awarded towards the development of the Goliath baseline cell and the construction of Ilika’s pre-pilot line. Since those initial developments, Ilika has been working with industry specialists on scale-up activities in line with its industrialization program and expects to deliver automotive A-sample SSBs from its scaled-up pilot facility.