In order to achieve the climate neutrality targeted by the EU by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic, among other things, must be drastically reduced. The consistent expansion of electric mobility is expected to make a major contribution to this. However, this requires cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to existing batteries. "This is precisely what is a huge challenge, because the development of new batteries takes quite a long time with current methods. In the BIG-MAP project, we want to take this decisively forward," says Professor Maximilian Fichtner, scientific spokesman of CELEST and POLiS and deputy director at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), which the KIT founded together with the University of Ulm. The EU project BIG-MAP (Battery Interface Genome / Materials Acceleration Platform) aims to establish completely new methods and thus considerably accelerate battery development - among other things through consistent automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
In future, sustainable and ultra-high performance batteries are to be developed up to ten times faster than before using the methods established in BIG-MAP. The researchers also want to ensure that these batteries can store energy efficiently and that they can be produced sustainably and at low cost. This should make it not only technically possible but also economically attractive in future to store electricity from the sun and wind in batteries. "A realignment of existing discovery, development and manufacturing processes for battery materials and technologies is necessary to enable Europe to compete with its main rivals in the USA and Asia," says Fichtner.