Ilika Leads £8.2 Million Collaboration with Industry Experts to Deliver its Solid State Battery Ready for Automotive Level Performance

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ROMSEY, UK JANUARY 26 2023: Ilika Technologies Ltd, pioneers in solid state battery (SSB) technology, is pleased to announce it is leading a 24-month, £8.2 million Faraday Battery Challenge collaboration project. Codenamed HISTORY, the project will start on 1 February 2023 and focus on integrating high silicon content electrodes into Ilika’s Goliath SSB for electric vehicles, to enable automotive level performance.

Ilika will receive a grant of £2.8 million from the project and will partner with Nexeon, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of battery materials; sustainable manufacturing company HSSMI; experts from 3 of the UK’s top Universities (St Andrews, University College London and Imperial College); and technology innovation catalyst CPI, to model, characterize and deliver an automotive industry-defined SSB by project end. BMW Group and WAE Technologies will join the project’s steering committee.

Solid state batteries with their solid electrolyte, are expected to provide greater safety and performance in comparison to lithium ion batteries which presently power electric vehicles and have a liquid electrolyte. The solid electrolyte is not only safer but also results in a higher cell to pack ratio, lighter vehicles, higher energy and power density, extended range and fast charging. In the HISTORY project, the UK-based partners will contribute to the development of a multi-layer, solid state pouch cell that meet the needs of electric vehicle pack developers.

Ilika will design and fabricate the SSB cell; Nexeon will develop a high silicon content electrode based on its low expansion NSP-2 material to be used in the anode of the SSB cell; HSSMI will deliver an SSB End of Life and Life Cycle Analysis; CPI will formulate inks with the silicon powders; University of St Andrews will characterise interface and materials interactions; University College London and Imperial College London will develop a modelling framework that can predict the electro-chemo-mechanical behaviour and failure of cells and battery stacks for selected anode materials.

“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” says Georg Steinhoff, Head of R&D at BMW Motorsport Ltd.

Rob Millar, Head of Electrical, WAE Technologies said WAE Technologies 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”

The project shows further support from the Faraday Battery Challenge on the development of Ilika’s Goliath SSBs, with previous funding awarded towards the development of the Goliath 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 automotive A-sample SSBs from its scaled-up pilot facility.

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.”

Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, stated: "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.”