Ilika looks to scale up solid state battery production equipment

Ilika looks to scale up solid state battery production equipment

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Ilika in the UK is leading a 16-month, £2.7m project to develop production tools for a high volume solid state battery (SSB) line for electric vehicles.

The SiSTEM project with the Mpac Group will see Ilika develop tools for a 1.5MWh SSB pilot line that can scale up to full production.

SiSTEM, announced yesterday as part of a major UK announcement, follows on from the successful BUS100 programme, which concluded that part of Ilika’s SSB process could in principle take place using some of the equipment used for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) manufacturing, such as that present at the UK Battery Innovation Centre (UKBIC).

In SiSTEM, UKBIC’s formulation and coating lines will be trialled with Ilika’s SSB chemistry, in order to verify the expectations from BUS100. The SOLSTICE feasibility study with Comau concluded that there exist no barrier to scaling-up SSB and that over 2/3 of the required tools already exist in LIB factories. The SiSTEM is now filling in the gaps in the battery production toolchain with Mpac to design, precision engineer and manufacture high-speed automation solutions.

The SSB assembly line expected to be fully operational by H1 2025 and will be used by Ilika for the production of A-samples but will also be the blueprint for future scale-up.

The project is running in parallel with Project HISTORY, which will finalise the technical development of Ilika’s prototype automotive A-sample SSBs. 

UKBIC will also startphysical trials to demonstrate Ilika’s SSB electrodes at the GWh scale needed to supply EV makers in the UK and Europe.

“Project SiSTEM builds upon previous ATF support in Project BUS100 which found that with minor adaptations, Ilika’s electrodes could in principle be produced in volume on the UKBIC lines,” said Graeme Purdy, CEO of Ilika. “Project SiSTEM will undertake those physical trials, proving Ilika’s technology can be successfully scaled. Our collaboration with Mpac will see the development of a scaled SSB assembly line which will be capable of delivering A-sample automotive pouch cells for testing in 2025. This is an important step in Ilika’s roadmap, enabling us to engage closer with OEM’s as we start to deliver SSB cells into their test programmes.”

“We are eager to leverage our expertise in developing a cutting-edge innovative solution that will enable the reliable assembly of solid state batteries. This project not only demonstrates our commitment to technological advancement but also aligns with the UK government’s vision for a cleaner and more sustainable world,” said Adam Holland, Chief Executive Officer at Mpac Group.

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