UKRI funding for innovative battery manufacturing projects destined to secure the future of electric vehicles
30 Jan 2023
CPI will share £27.6 million in funding from UK Research and Innovation’s Faraday Battery Challenge to deliver the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles.
We’re a key partner in three projects awarded UKRI funding to enable UK competitiveness across the battery value chain. Through close collaboration with our partners on these projects, we are supporting the development and scale-up of pioneering battery technologies, overcoming the limitations of conventional batteries and traditional manufacturing methods.
As an innovation catalyst, we’re committed to developing the UK as a battery technology hub and enabling a strong national supply chain. Our involvement in these projects will improve battery performance and sustainability, reduce costs, and develop more efficient and globally competitive manufacturing processes.
The CONSTELLATION project aims to use AI and automation to optimise the performance of battery cells for the electric vehicle (EV) market. This 2‑year project will drive already advanced battery technology towards full commercialisation.
In collaboration with our partners Addionics, James Durrans Group, and the University of Warwick, we’re driving improvements to the manufacturing efficiency, performance, and environmental profile of lithium-ion cells.
CONSTELLATION will involve using AI to design improvements in novel current collectors and utilise robotic automation to add coatings to customised electrodes. By creating a “drop-in” solution for existing gigafactories, the project aims to deliver a streamlined supply and manufacture of electrodes, leading to cheaper EVs for car buyers.
This is a strong consortium with first-class expertise and world-renowned industrial experience to support innovation in propulsion battery technologies for EVs.
We are working with solid-state battery (SSB) pioneer Ilika Technologies Ltd – alongside several other UK-based partners, including BMW Motorsport Ltd – to integrate high silicon content electrodes into batteries suitable for EVs.
The HISTORY project aims to model, characterise, and deliver an automotive SSB that delivers improved safety compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries, thanks to the solid electrolyte. SSBs are also expected to deliver higher performance due to having a higher cell-to-pack ratio, being lighter, having higher energy and power density, and offering extended range and fast charging.
We’ll contribute our expertise in printable electronics, by formulating inks with silicon powders. The HISTORY project will include a detailed lifecycle analysis focusing on minimising environmental impact and enabling recovery, re-use and recycling of EV batteries.
We’re also a key partner in a third project funded by the Faraday Battery Challenge. TECHNO seeks to extend optimum EV battery performance by developing an intelligent, first-of-its-kind control module that keeps cells at the best operating temperature.
Tony Jackson, our Director of Formulation, said:
“We are very pleased to have been awarded Round 5 funding in the Faraday Battery Challenge, being part of three projects that ultimately will help accelerate the next generation of battery materials and support innovation in propulsion battery technologies for electric vehicles in the UK.”
Farid Tariq, CTO and Co-founder of Addionics, said:
“We are excited because CONSTELLATION provides a strong integration of our technology with world leaders in coating and fabrication, and active material fabrication (WMG, CPI, James Durran) that can show how our very smartly designed and structured current collectors can fit into a viable battery ecosystem and provide benefits from our technology. This is readily transferable knowledge and will push the creation of new methods to overcome modern limitations of batteries and fabrication.”
Mark Copley, Chief Engineer in WMG at the University of Warwick’s Electrochemical Materials and Manufacturing team, said:
“WMG is delighted to be a partner in the CONSTELLATION consortium. Utilising our experience in scaling up new technologies, from lab to pilot line, we feel that we will be able to further the development of Addionics’ current collector technology whilst coupling in Durrans’ graphite and formulation developments, as derived by CPI.”
Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, said:
“HISTORY 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.”
Georg Steinhoff, Head of R&D at BMW Motorsport Ltd, said:
“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.”
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