Ilika, Nexeon team for UK silicon solid state batteries with BMW

Ilika, Nexeon team for UK silicon solid state batteries with BMW

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Ilika Technologies is teaming up with Nexeon and BMW to develop silicon-based solid state batteries (SSB) for electric vehicles (EVs).

The £8 million (€10m) Faraday Battery Challenge collaboration project codenamed HISTORY will start on 1 February 2023 and focus on integrating high silicon content electrodes into Ilika’s Goliath SSB for EVs.

Ilika will receive a grant of £2.8 million from the project and will partner with Nexeon; sustainable manufacturing company HSSMI; researchers from St Andrews, University College London and Imperial College; and technology innovation catalyst CPI, to model, characterize and deliver an automotive industry-defined SSB by the end of the project.

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.

“HISTORY supports the continuation of the technology development work Ilika has been undertaking since the completion of its previous Faraday Battery Challenge programmes,” said Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO.

“It will see the delivery of an automotive cell, defined by the industry as a minimum viable product, to enable us to move quickly into an industrial SSB pack and Battery Management System programme. This is an exceptionally strong consortium with first class expertise and world-renowned industrial experience and will ensure the UK continues to develop technology for the rapidly emerging SSB market.”

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 modelling framework that can predict the electro-chemo-mechanical behaviour and failure of cells and battery stacks for selected anode materials.

“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,” says Georg Steinhoff, Head of R&D at BMW Motorsport Ltd.

Rob Millar, Head of Electrical, WAE Technologies said “WAE Technologies will be working with Ilika and the HISTORY consortium with the objective of further developing Ilika’s solid state Goliath pouch cells. WAE remains focused on retaining its leadership position in Applied Battery Technology and by working with companies such as Ilika, sees the benefit of gaining valuable insight into solid state technology and its application in modules and packs. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Scaling up

Ilika has been scaling up its Goliath SSB technology and expects to deliver automotive A-sample SSBs from its scaled-up pilot facility.

Tony Harper, Challenge Director for the Faraday Battery Challenge said “Solid state batteries have the potential to revolutionise the way electric vehicles are powered. The consortium Ilika is leading is an outstanding combination of UK capabilities designed to drive forward the development of a multi-layer, solid state pouch cell to deliver the next big step in the safety and performance of EV batteries. I look forward to seeing how their technology develops over the course of the project.”;


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