Ilika Plc (LON:IKA), a pioneer in solid-state battery (SSB) technology, has announced it is leading a 24-month £8.2 million Faraday Battery Challenge collaboration programme to integrate high silicon content electrodes into its Goliath solid-state batteries (‘SSB’) to enable automotive level performance. Ilika will receive a grant of £2.8 million over the 24-month programme, Project HISTORY, which will commence on 1 February 2023.
BMW Group (‘BMW’) and Williams Advanced Engineering (‘WAE’) will join the programme’s steering committee. Ilika will partner with Nexeon, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of battery materials, and experts from four of the UK’s top academic Universities and Catapult to deliver an automotive industry-defined SSB by programme end. Alongside, Ilika will be working with manufacturing consultants HSSMI to deliver an SSB Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).
The UK Government-backed Faraday Battery Challenge aims to support a world-class scientific, technology development and manufacturing scale-up capability for batteries in the UK. The Challenge is focused on developing cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe and recyclable batteries to capture a growing market.
Project HISTORY follows on from Ilika’s previous successful Faraday Battery Challenge programmes which supported the development of the Goliath SSB baseline cell and the construction of Ilika’s pre-pilot line. Since those initial developments, Ilika has been working with industry specialists on scale-up activities in line with its industrialisation programme and expects to deliver prototype automotive A sample SSB’s from its scaled pilot facility.
Graeme Purdy, Ilika plc CEO, stated: “Project HISTORY supports the continuation of the technology development work Ilika has been undertaking since the completion of its previous Faraday Battery Challenge programmes. It also builds on work supported by the Faraday Institution and the Advanced Propulsion Centre. 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.”
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.”
Georg Steinhoff, Head of R&D at BMW Group said “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.“
Rob Millar, Head of Electrical at Williams Advance Engineering (WAE) said “WAE 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.”