UK consortium targets solid state batteries

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:

Seven UK-based organisations including BritishVolt and the Faraday Institution have formed a consortium to develop prototype solid state batteries.

Solid state batteries (SSBs) have several advantages over the prevailing lithium-ion technology that dominates today, including better power density and potential safety benefits. But despite the promise, SSBs are in a relatively early stage of maturity compared with lithium-ion, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the UK partners seeks to address this.

“Solid-state is the holy grail of battery solutions,” said Dr Allan Paterson, Chief Technology Officer of Britishvolt, which is developing the UK’s first battery gigafactory.

“Solid-state batteries have the potential to increase energy density significantly over battery technology available today and could dramatically, and positively, change the world of electric vehicles.”

According to the Faraday Institution, SSBs are likely to have a seven per cent share of the global consumer electronics battery market and a four per cent share of the EV battery market by 2030. That four per cent will already represent a market opportunity of $8 billion, one which is expected to grow substantially in the decades beyond.

“I am delighted to be able to announce the formation of this unique consortium for the advancement of solid-state battery prototyping that includes leading UK-based organisations at many stages in the value chain,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO of the Faraday Institution.

“Our leadership in this venture signals a move towards a role that the Faraday Institution will increasingly play as a trusted convener of significant partnerships between UK industry and academia as a route to commercialise breakthrough science emerging from our research programmes to maximise UK economic value.”

The other partners included in the consortium are the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Oxford University, WMG, Emerson & Renwick and Johnson Matthey. A preliminary design for the prototyping facility has already been drafted and the consortium is currently seeking financial backers.

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