Tier 1 Musashi invests in solid-state battery company KeraCel; long-term partnership
Japan-based Tier 1 Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd. has invested in KeraCel Inc., a Silicon-Valley-based venture developing solid-state batteries using 3D printing technologies. The long-term strategic partnership with KeraCel allows Musashi to have priority rights to produce and to supply solid-state batteries with KeraCel’s 3D printing technologies, to provide power system solutions to electric motorcycle market and to explore other potential market opportunities as well.
Musashi’s strategic investment accelerates KeraCel’s development of its additive manufacturing solid state battery technology to high volume production.
Partnering with Musashi enables KeraCel to develop safe, high energy batteries for automotive market.—Robert Bagheri, Keracel’s Chairman and CEO
KeraCel is bringing to market an advanced solid-state battery design and manufacturing method that will allow production of cells with ceramic-based electrolytes and lithium metal anodes to achieve energy densities 2-3 times greater, or at a cost of less than 50% when compared to Li-ion cells today for the same energy level.
This 3D printing manufacturing process will allow virtually any shape or size of cell to be built for a multitude of applications without changing equipment or tooling, directly under software control.
In April, KeraCel announced it was able to 3D-print the very thin ceramic layers essential to building high energy density batteries. Minimizing ceramic layers reduces the amount of inactive material overhead which impacts achievable energy density. In addition, the solid ceramic electrolyte thickness directly impacts the battery’s internal resistance and thus limits charge and discharge rates.
Keracel’s target energy density for its 1st generation battery is 1200 Wh/l—approximately twice that of today’s lithium-ion batteries. Recent achievements in printing thin layers will allow achieving 1000 Wh/l energy density. Keracel expects further improvements in the layer thickness with refinements in their manufacturing process technology.
Musashi is a global auto parts Tier 1 company for automobiles and motorcycles. It has 33 manufacturing sites spreading across Europe, North and South America, China, and South East Asia. Musashi specializes in designing, developing and manufacturing powertrain products such as Differential Assemblies, Planetary Gear Assemblies, Transmission Gears and Assemblies, and Reduction Gears for xEVs, which are supplied to global major OEMs and Tier1s.