Israeli startup Addionics, which is developing the next generation of energy storage, will lead a project designed to assist the UK in keeping its pledge to ban combustible engine sales by 2030.
The company, which is developing innovative technology to achieve improvements in lithium-ion battery cell performance and manufacturing processes by focusing on the structure and architecture of the main component of the battery called the 'current collector,' has been awarded funding from Innovate UK. The funding will be used to lead a project in which next-generation batteries for electric vehicles will be developed using smart 3D electrodes, which will achieve 2x higher accessible capacity, 50% faster charging time and 150% longer lifetime.
The project is good news for the bustling vehicle industry. Like other western countries that have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the UK is striving to achieve 'carbon neutrality' by 2050. In order to reach this goal, the UK aims to ban combustible engine sales by 2030. However, alongside declarations and good intentions, much research has found that drivers are in no hurry to switch from combustible engines to electric vehicles. In particular, this is due to various concerns about batteries -including the high cost, long charging times, the lifetime of the battery, and the restricted travel range. This has brought about the urgent need to find the most innovative solutions that can cope with these issues and demonstrate technical superiority in the global EV market.
In order to cope with the competitive and technological climate change challenge, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched the Faraday Battery Challenge (named after the English physicist and chemist who invented the first dynamo - electric motor). As part of the challenge, UKRI has called for companies in the battery development sector to submit applications for project funding to develop batteries that offer better performance. As part of this endeavor, the award of £10 million to the 17 most innovative end projects was recently announced.
The proposal submitted by Addionics is called STELLAR (Smart Three-Dimensional ELectrode Lithium-Ion with Automated Robotics batteries) and will now receive funding, which will be conducted in cooperation with: the UK's Center of Process Innovation (CPI), a leading independent technology innovation center that is helping companies to develop, prove and commercialize next generation products and processes; and the University of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) - an academic department which leads joint ventures in scientific, technological and engineering fields between academia and the public and private sectors.
Addionics cofounder and CEO Dr. Moshiel Biton said, "The Group will make use of technology that we developed to manufacture 3D electrodes, which produce improvement in battery performance for vehicles. The enhanced batteries are engineered by artificial intelligence (AI) with a process that helps cope with challenges like thermal capacity, energy density and complex mechanical issues. Through advanced robotic engineering, the Group can tailor batteries for specific types of cars, to engineer shorting charging times, increase energy and power density - all before moving on to production. Another advantage that earned the project points was the fact that the project does not require changes in battery installations, or the existing supply chain, thus representing a 'drop-in' solution for a range of installations. In this way the project will save time and costs while yielding a contribution to the environment due to the improved long-life cells, which will help Britain consolidate its transition to a mix of cleaner energy."
"The bottom line," explained Dr. Biton is "a 50% reduction in charging times, and doubling the lifetime of the battery, so that it will be possible to increase the capacity and distance that an electric vehicle can travel, theoretically by 30%-40%, and possibly even doubling the range."
Addionics, which is currently conducting proof of concept with two of the leading German car manufacturers, has raised $10 million to date and has 20 employees, half in London and the remainder in Tel Aviv. The company's board members include Dr. Prabhakar Patil, an international pioneer of electrical charging, who served as CEO of Korea's LG Chem, one of the world's largest battery manufacturers. Also on the board is Prof. Herbert Kohler, who served in a range of senior positions for German car manufacturer Daimler including VP E-Drive and Future Mobility and also as a senior director for Tesla in helping the electric motor to enter the mass car market.
CPI said: "CPI exists to support innovative, dynamic early-stage companies developing the technologies of the future. We are delighted to be part of an Innovate UK funded collaborative research and development project with Addionics. Strongly aligned with CPI's vision for a cleaner environment, Addionics is developing the next generation of energy storage to support the creation of a sustainable energy system. The company’s revolutionary approach - focusing on physics, rather than just chemistry - promises to deliver a steep change in existing battery performance."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 25, 2021
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