Ilika scales up for UK solid state battery production

Ilika scales up for UK solid state battery production

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK battery developer Ilika is running trials of equipment to scale up production of its solid state batteries for electric vehicles.

A grant of £175,000 (€200,000) from Innovate UK’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) will fund a series of trails of manufacturing equipment over the next nine months to further de-risk the industrialisation plan for its Goliath large format cells.

The project, named Scale-Up Trials on Equipment for Production (STEP), is a key step to a battery gigafactory for its silicon anode solid state battery (SSB) technology.

“STEP is a crucial part of Ilika’s industrialisation journey and provides a great opportunity for Ilika to work with UK-based equipment vendors in these trials – to both further Ilika’s ambitions to scale its technology and to develop the all-important SSB supply chain,” said Graeme Purdy, CEO of Ilika.

This follows two recent successful Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)-funded industrialisation projects: SOLSTICE and BUS100. 

The SOLSTICE project between Ilika and Comau, part of global car maker Stellantis, concluded that there were no barriers to scaling-up Ilika’s Goliath SSB for electric vehicles and delivered a plant design for a mega-scale manufacturing facility.

The ongoing BUS100 project is a collaboration between Ilika and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to determine the economic feasibility of placing a large pilot SSB line at UKBIC to enable Ilika’s Goliath electric vehicle batteries to be manufactured at scale. 

Ilika has developed a solid state pouch technology based on oxide solid electrolyte and silicon anode, supporting faster charging and increased range. These can improve power and energy both at cell and pack level through simplified packaging, battery management and cooling systems.

The next step towards commercialisation will see Ilika scale up from the present pilot facility to a large pilot facility, exercising its IP and know-how at a production volume level relevant to its automotive target markets. Following this intermediate milestone will be a move to giga scale under licensing and off-take agreements in collaboration with battery giga factories and OEMs.

“I am pleased that this project has been successfully funded, sharing part of £15 million from our Scale-Up Readiness Validation competition. With this support, the APC aims to increase confidence in large-scale manufacturing investments to build electrified supply chains in the UK. It is vital, in the transition to net zero, that the automotive sector seizes the opportunity to grow the industry, create or safeguard jobs and build on the expertise anchored here in the UK,” said Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

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