Tata Sons Subsidiary Agratas Joins Ilika’s Goliath Industrialisation Programme

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Ilika, a pioneer in solid state battery technology, are pleased to announce that Agratas have joined the £2.7 million grant-supported SiSTEM project which was announced in October 2023. Supported by the Automotive Transformation Fund, SiSTEM will develop a 1.5MWh SSB assembly line capable of delivering Ilika’s A-sample solid state battery pouch cells to automotive OEMs and Tier 1s with physical trials demonstrating Ilika’s solid state battery electrodes at GWh scale.

Agratas is Tata Group’s global battery business created to design, develop and manufacture high-quality, high-performance, sustainable batteries in the mobility and energy sectors, including for anchor customers Tata Motors and JLR.

Joining Ilika, Mpac and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre on the project, Agratas will undertake an evaluation of the scale up requirements for Ilika’s solid state battery technology including a concept facility design for the implementation of solid state battery manufacturing equipment at Gigafactory scale. In July 2023, Agratas announced its plans to produce batteries in the UK, enough to power hundreds of thousands of electric cars and a significant contribution to the UK’s projected demand of 100 GWh by 2030.

The ATF is a funding programme created to support large-scale industrialisation. Up to £850 million of funding will be invested in developing a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. The fund is highlighted as an important mechanism to reach targets in UK Government’s 10-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution and its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Project SiSTEM will run in parallel with Project HISTORY, which will develop prototype automotive A-sample SSBs that will be produced at Ilika’s pilot facility.

In parallel to joining the SiSTEM project, Ilika and Agratas have entered into a 12-month agreement that will facilitate interactions between the companies to support Ilika’s journey to its D8 (50Ah, chemistry frozen) development milestone in H1 2025, alongside exploring wider collaboration opportunities between the two parties.

Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, stated: “We are delighted to welcome Agratas to the SiSTEM project. With their plans to build a UK gigafactory, Agratas will bring significant expertise to the programme and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Dr Valentina Gentili, Vice-President Global R&D at Agratas says: “We at Agratas are excited to be joining the ATF funded SiSTEM project and collaborating on the Goliath Program. The SiSTEM project will accelerate our learning on the production of solid-state batteries and enhance our relationships with key organisations in the UK battery industry. The project is well aligned to our mission of world-class teams delivering best-in-class technologies, and we believe that solid state is a very promising future battery technology”.

Adam Holland, Chief Executive Officer at Mpac Group plc said, ‘’We are delighted to be participating in The Automotive Transformation Fund project in partnership with Ilika, the UKBIC and Agratas, following the award of the prestigious APC grant for our SiSTEM pilot battery assemble line. Mpac is a market leader in complex automation, and we are keen to apply our expertise to develop cutting-edge solutions for scaling up the assembly of innovative battery cells. This project demonstrates our commitment to technological advancement and aligns with the UK government's vision for a cleaner and more sustainable world’’.

Sean Gilgunn, MD at UKBIC, said “It’s fantastic that Agratas has joined the SiSTEM project, which will see a 1.5MWh solid-state battery (‘SSB’) assembly line capable of delivering Ilika’s Goliath SSB prototype large-format pouch cells being built in this project. The Automotive Transformation Fund (‘ATF’) funded project is a partnership between Ilika, MPAC, UKBIC and Agratas, which complements the Government's vision for Net Zero.”

About UKBIC - The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is the UK’s national battery manufacturing facility providing manufacturing scale-up and skills for the battery sector. UKBIC will build on the work carried out in the completed BUS100 programme by undertaking physical trials to produce Ilika's SSB electrodes at GWh scale.

Ian Constance, Chief Executive Officer at Advanced Propulsion Centre UK said, “Industrialisation of solid state batteries is one of our current defining challenges. This partnership and project supported by the Automotive Transformation Fund’s Scale up Readiness Validation (SURV) programme could lead to a significant step forward in the roll out of solid state batteries and investment in advanced manufacturing in the UK. The strength and depth of this consortium demonstrates the leading-edge nature of the UK’s position in battery technology that is key to driving a net zero future for the automotive sector and road transport.”