Zap&Go bringing C-Ion technology to Williams Advanced Engineering-led consortium as part of £246M Faraday Battery Challenge
Zap&Go Ltd has been selected to contribute its unique Carbon-Ion (C-Ion) technology to a consortium led by Williams Advanced Engineering to develop next-generation battery systems for electric vehicles. The project is part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, a £246-million (US$326-million) commitment to battery development for the electric vehicle market.
Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, which also includes Williams Martini Racing, one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history and sole battery supplier to all Formula E racing cars. The consortium seeks to deliver faster-charging, higher-power, higher-energy batteries that improve upon today’s technology.
Zap&Go’s C-Ion cell is intended to combine the power density of supercapacitors and the energy density of rechargeable batteries. The C-Ion cells work in a very similar way to electrical double layer capacitors (EDLCs)—also known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors—but use different carbon and electrolyte materials that are not only safer and easier to recycle at the end of life, but also enable the devices to operate at higher voltages resulting in higher energy densities.
Zap&Go says that its C-Ion technology offers sub-five-minute charging with slow discharge; increased safety; greater charge/discharge cycles versus Li-ion; and is easier to recycle than alternatives.
Zap&Go says that its C-Ion cell can provide specific power characteristics between one and two orders of magnitude higher than a Li-ion cell. It is designed to be classified as non-flammable and non-hazardous for transport, allowing the product to be shipped easily and to comply with both current and future regulations.
Zap&Go is focusing its current research efforts in developing gel and all-solid state C-Ion cells. C-Ion have all of the advantages of EDLCs, but are designed to operate at higher voltages through the use of their technologically advanced electrolytes. These electrolytes can operate in the 4.0V to 6.0V range, which has the potential to improve the energy density of the C-Ion cells.
Specifically, Zap&Go is creating polymer-inorganic composite electrolytes in the form of membranes. Such materials are tailored to contain interconnected nano-sized channels formed by the polymer network for easy ion migration. The polymer network weakly binds the ions to enable fast ion transport. The weak binding and fast ion transport is achieved by creating a network of vacant binding sites in the polymer.
The other members of the consortium are Imperial College London and automotive software specialists PowerOasis and Codeplay.
It’s an important validation of our technology to be invited to work with the Williams team. We want to demonstrate the viability of a hybrid battery management system that goes beyond what’s currently available to EV manufacturers. The time is right to demonstrate that our Carbon-Ion technology can deliver safe, fast charging.—Stephen Voller, CEO and founder of Zap&Go
Zap&Go Ltd is a technology company based at the Harwell Research Campus, Oxford with a US office in Charlotte, NC.