Seven UK organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop prototype solid-state battery technology targeted for automotive applications.
The consortium comprises a number of organisations that focus on battery research, development and manufacturing in the UK: Faraday Institution, Britishvolt, Emerson & Renwick, Johnson Matthey, Oxford University, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and Warwick University.
Through development of solid-state battery (SSB) technology, which could offer significant advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries, the consortium said it aims to harness and industrialise UK academic capability to produce cells using highly scalable, cost effective and high performance manufacturing techniques.
Advantages of SSBs include the ability to hold more charge for a given volume leading to increased electric vehicle (EV) range and reduced costs of safety-management. Early SSB deployment is likely to be in consumer electronics, niche automotive applications and unmanned aerospace before use in broader EV markets.
The UK institute for electrochemical energy storage research, Faraday Institution, will lead the consortium’s development. Faraday CEO Professor Pam Thomas said that the institution will increasingly play the role of ‘trusted convener of significant partnerships between UK industry and academia’ to commercialise breakthrough science and maximise economic value.
The Faraday Institution has forecast that SSBs are likely to share a seven per cent share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a four per cent share of the EV battery market in 2030, with global SSB revenues from sales to EV manufacturers expected to reach $8bn by 2030 and grow rapidly towards 2050.
Addressing challenges in developing high-power SSBs with commercially relevant performance has been a focus of The Faraday Institution’s SOLBAT project over the last three years.
Sources of funding are currently being sought and the preliminary design for the facility has been developed, the consortium said.
Lord Grimstone, minister for investment, said: “It is the work of our internationally-renowned research and development base, like those brought together by this consortium, that will give us the tools needed to forge a strong and sustainable future for the automotive sector and increase our contribution to combating climate change.”