Ricardo to collaborate in lithium-based solid-state EV battery technology research

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Ricardo will join with a number of partners for a solid-state lithium battery project in the hope of developing technology which could facilitate ultra-fast charging for future electrified vehicles.

Other partners in the PowerDrive project include project leader Ilika, the Centre for Process Innovation, and University College London.

Ricardo will apply its battery management system (BMS) to the new solid-state cell and develop capabilities for super- and ultra-fast charging in a prototype battery module.

Solid-state lithium battery technology is widely seen as having the potential to transform the performance and safety of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Solid-state lithium batteries offer the prospect of much faster charging times, increased energy density, increased lifecycles of up to 10 years, and extremely low discharge leakage.

This 30-month collaborative PowerDrive Line project will develop a lithium-based solid-state battery for EVs and PHEVs, and establish a pre-pilot line for this solid-state battery cell technology, building on Ilika’s Stereax manufacturing experience. The project will also develop materials and processes for a new UK-based solid-state materials supply chain.

Ricardo will design and construct a prototype battery module to demonstrate its potential in-vehicle performance. The company will also apply its expertise in EV BMS technology.

Through incorporation of high processing power and model-based control capability, Ricardo’s approach is ideally suited to the evaluation of new and innovative cell chemistries, where the careful monitoring and close control of every aspect of battery cell and pack performance can be essential for effective development and evaluation.

Ricardo will additionally develop the BMS to enable a capability for super- and ultrafast charging at ratings of 50-350kW, in a manner that can be demonstrated in the prototype battery module.

“Ricardo is pleased to be working alongside partners including Ilika, the Centre for Process Innovation and University College London, in this important project for the future of electrified vehicles,” said Ricardo director for the passenger car and motorcycle market sector, Martin Tolliday.

“Solid-state lithium battery technology offers the potential of significant improvements in performance and safety, in a more compact and lighter weight package than current electric vehicle battery technology. If successful, solid-state battery systems could have a transformative effect on the market for EVs and PHEVs, helping the world decarbonize road transportation more quickly and effectively than would otherwise be possible.”

The PowerDrive Line project has been awarded funding under the UK government’s Faraday Battery Challenge: Innovation R&D, round 2, with balancing contributions from the project’s commercial partners. Funding will be provided via the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

About Author

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Matt joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he began editing Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International in 2016, and took over as editor of Tire Technology International in 2018.

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