British manufacturers think they can commercialise solid state batteries for electric vehicles


Race to bring solid state batteries to market continues

A consortium of UK institutions has agreed to work together to bring solid state batteries to market. The technology promises greater range, faster charging and cheaper production, but is yet to become commercially viable.

In May, we reported that Ford and BMW had increased investment in Denver-based solid state battery firm, Solid Power, with hopes that production could start next year

Volkswagen and BMW, meanwhile, have taken a stake in another US solid state battery start-up, QuantumScape, which is looking to start manufacturing in 2024-2025.

Toyota has said it will unveil a solid state battery vehicle prototype later this year.

The Guardian reports that chemicals company, Johnson Matthey; battery start-up, Britishvolt; and Oxford and Warwick universities are among seven institutions to have signed a memorandum of understanding promising to work together on the technology.

The group has been put together by the Faraday Institution, a government-backed organisation that is focused on bringing the UK’s academic battery research to market.

A preliminary design for a prototyping facility has been developed and sources of funding are now being sought.

Britishvolt’s chief technical officer, Allan Paterson, commented: “There’s still some added value that we can make from lithium ion, but that only gets us so far.

“Solid state is the next natural attractive area that we need to drive forward. We need to be putting the UK in a competitive position with a homegrown, high-performance solution.”

“It’s an export opportunity for UK plc,” added Maurits van Tol, Johnson Matthey’s chief technology officer. “There’s such a strong need for batteries that I’m not afraid of there being one winner and one loser. There is space for many players and there is space for the many applications that we need to electrify.”

The Faraday Institution forecasts that in 2030, solid state batteries are likely to account for a 7 per cent share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a 4 per cent share of the electric vehicle battery market.

Post time: Aug-30-2021