Ilika plc (LON:IKA), a pioneer in solid-state battery technology, has announced the successful conclusion of its scale-up study, SOLSTICE, with partner Comau, part of Stellantis, and a world leader in the industrial automation field. The study reviewed Ilika’s existing Goliath pre pilot line and delivered a plant design for a Goliath manufacturing line at a mega-scale facility. As reported by the company on 6th April 2021, the 12-month Project was supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and Ilika received a £276,000 grant towards costs related to the Project.
The Project had two objectives, firstly a review and subsequent validation of Ilika’s internal plan to scale up its facility from a production capacity of 50kWh per year to 2MWh per year. Following on from the review, Ilika has a detailed facility and equipment plan and has entered into discussions with equipment vendors, with the first long lead time equipment orders expected to be placed in Q2 2022. Ilika’s 2MWh scale up will deliver and commission a fully operational facility by Q4 2023. In the meantime, the development of Ilika’s Goliath solid-state battery technology continues in accordance with the Company’s technology roadmap.
The second objective of the Project was an initial review of Ilika’s defined manufacturing process to assess its suitability for megawatt scale up. The Project concluded there were no cost or technical barriers to scale up, and indeed important manufacturing benefits were identified, such as an accelerated formation stage relative to traditional lithium-ion, which has the potential to significantly reduce formation times. Comau has produced a high-level costed plant design for the megawatt scale solid-state manufacturing line which will be further refined in future planned collaborations.
Automotive Transformation Director at the APC, Julian Hetherington said: “The UK has a long legacy of automotive manufacturing success and the industry now needs to scale up, at pace, to net-zero emission technologies. We are delighted that the funding awarded to Ilika and Comau through the Automotive Transformation Fund has successfully supported collaborative product and manufacturing process development that can unlock routes to subsequent investment in scaled- up facilities.”
John Coombes, managing Director of Comau UK stated: “This project represented an integral part of the Comau Journey in Electrification, developed with the contribution of the internal Battery Cells Global Competence Center. We are proud of the collaboration we have had with Ilika and the APC, and also the ability to demonstrate the value our capabilities can contribute in this field. “
Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, stated: “This project has successfully validated Ilika’s scale-up plans for its Goliath technology, highlighting some important cost-saving benefits at higher volume production levels which pave the way to gigawatt scale manufacturing. Working with Comau, one of the world’s leading designers of innovative engineering solutions, has delivered a robust plan to scale-up Ilika’s manufacturing capability for Goliath solid-state batteries to the next level.“