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Ilika announces the commencement of the Ilika-led PowerDrive Line project and confirms that the Company has now entered into a collaboration agreement governing the commercial terms of the project with partners including Ricardo. Details of the all the project partners were disclosed in the RNS of the 13 June 2018 and can also be found on the Innovate UK announcement: https://bit.ly/2QhkUKi

Solid-state lithium battery technology is widely seen as having the potential to transform the performance and safety of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs). The major benefits of solid-state batteries derive from their use of non-flammable solid electrolyte as opposed to the organic solvent used in current lithium-ion batteries, which is both flammable and has a relatively short useful life. In terms of performance, solid-state lithium batteries offer the prospect of much faster charging times, increased energy density, increased life cycle of up to 10 years, and extremely low discharge leakage.

The PowerDrive Line project has been awarded funding under the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge: Innovation R&D, round 2, with balancing contributions from the project’s commercial partners. Funding will be provided via the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The Ilika-led PowerDrive Line  project has attracted grant funding of £4.4million in aggregate for all partners, of which Ilika will receive £2.3 million.

This 30-month collaborative project will develop a lithium based solid-state Stereax® battery for plug in hybrid and electric vehicles, establish a pre-pilot line for solid-state battery cell technology and develop processes for a solid-state materials supply chain. The innovative solid-state technology will enable safer, more energy and power dense cells that will facilitate ultra-fast charging (enabling PHEV or BEV drivers to charge their cars in under 25 minutes).

Ricardo will design and construct a prototype battery module to demonstrate its potential in-vehicle performance. Ricardo will also apply its industry-leading expertise in EV Battery Management Systems (BMS) technology. By its incorporation of high processing power and model-based control capability, Ricardo’s approach is ideally suited to the evaluation of new and innovative cell chemistries, where the careful monitoring and close control of every aspect of battery cell and pack performance can be essential for effective development and evaluation. Ricardo will additionally develop the BMS to enable a capability for super and ultrafast charging at ratings of 50-350 kW, in a manner that can be demonstrated in the prototype battery module.

“Ricardo is pleased to be working alongside partners including Ilika, in this important project for the future of electrified vehicles,” commended Ricardo director for the passenger car and motorcycle market sector, Martin Tolliday. “Solid-state lithium battery technology offers the potential of significant improvements in performance and safety, in a more compact and lighter weight package than current electric vehicle battery technology. If successful, solid-state battery systems could have a transformative effect on the market for EVs and PHEVs, helping the world decarbonize road transportation more quickly and effectively than would otherwise be possible.”

“We have a strong consortium to deliver this product innovation, with Ilika working together with a global leading automotive manufacturer, the UK’s leading automotive engineering consultancy and two of the country’s foremost process innovators. We are looking forward to the rapid delivery of a globally significant technology solution,” added Ilika’s CEO Graeme Purdy.