Caterpillar makes strategic investment in Fisker, with interest in solid-state battery tech

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company developing electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, announced a strategic investment from Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric... Read more →


Carbon fibers have already beeen demonstrated as high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes, opening the way for their use as structural electrodes—i.e., simultaneously carrying mechanical load and storing electrical energy. Now, researchers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have linked the carbon fiber (CF) microstructure to the lithium insertion mechanism and... Read more →


German BMBF launches new €16M FestBatt multi-institution cluster to focus on solid-state batteries

Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new €16-million cluster—FestBatt—to foster basic research into solid-state batteries. Fourteen scientific institutions have joined FestBatt; the competence cluster is coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU). Solid-state batteries are fireproof and might enable larger storage capacities and quicker charging processes... Read more →


China team proposes method for converting liquid electrolyte into quasi-solid gel electrolyte for Li metal batteries

Researchers in China report that commercialized liquid electrolyte can be easily converted into a novel quasi-solid gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) via a simple and efficient in situ gelation strategy. The newly developed GPE exhibits elevated protective effects on Li metal anodes and has universality for diversified cathodes including, but not... Read more →


Solid-state battery company Solid Power closes $20M in Series A; Hyundai, Samsung, A123 among investors

Solid Power, a developer of all solid-state batteries (ASSB), closed $20 million in a Series A investment round. The Series A funding will allow the company to scale-up production via a multi-MWh roll-to-roll facility, which will be fully constructed and installed by the end of 2018 and fully operational in... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is awarding nearly $3 million to 13 projects to stimulate the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing. The US DOE national laboratories have some of the most significant high performance computing (HPC) resources available,... Read more →


Low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries; it is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long time to charge fully—some 10 to 12 hours for a solid-state battery. Now, researchers at Jülich Forschungzentrum have introduced a new concept battery that... Read more →


DOE funds a fifth round of projects pairing manufacturing, high performance computing; KeraCel and solid-state batteries

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nearly $3.8 million for 13 industry projects under fifth round of selections for the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program for the HPC4Mfg Program, led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and its partners Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Oak... Read more →


U Mich team demonstrates high current densities and extended cycling with solid electrolyte

Researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor have combined recent developments in reducing interface resistance and optimizing microstructure to develop a solid electrolyte that demonstrates Li cycling at current densities competitive with Li-ion. Next generation electric vehicles and consumer electronics demand volumetric energy densities beyond that capable of state-of-the-art Li-ion... Read more →


LeddarTech has delivered the first A-samples of its LeddarCore LCA2 system-on-chip (SoC) (earlier post) to select automotive partners which will be publicly disclosed at a later date this year. The LCA2 is the autonomous vehicle industry’s first 3D solid-state LiDAR (SSL) SoC and is available now to Tier-1 automotive manufacturers... Read more →


A team from Tohoku University and Tokyo Tech have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries, reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Western Ontario are proposing selenium (Se) as a promising cathode material for all-solid-state Li batteries, paired with a lithium-tin (L-Sn) alloy as an anode and Li3PS4 as the electrolyte. In a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the team reports that in... Read more →


First customers order the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro bus, deliveries this year; solid-state batteries, fuel-cell range-extender coming

The first Mercedes-Benz battery-electric eCitaro bus (earlier post) will be delivered at the end of the year and will go into practical operations in the context of a customer-oriented driving test. The Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, operator of the local public transport system in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, signed a corresponding declaration... Read more →


Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business, is investing in Ionic Materials, a privately held battery materials developer based in Massachusetts, to advance the development of battery technology and improve EV performance with solid-state battery innovation. Ionic Materials is a materials technology company developing advanced materials... Read more →


Saft study on MgH2-TiH2 nanocomposites as active materials for all-solid-state lithium batteries

A team from France-based leading battery company Saft and Université Paris Est reports on solid-state batteries operating at 120 °C prepared with metal hydride MH nanocomposites xMgH2+(1-x)TiH2 used as active materials for the positive electrode; metallic Li as the negative electrode; and LiBH4 as the solid electrolyte in a paper in... Read more →


Volkswagen invests $100M in QuantumScape to secure access to solid-state battery technology; new JV; production by 2025

The Volkswagen Group is increasing its stake in solid-state energy company QuantumScape Corporation (earlier post) and forming a new joint venture with the intention of paving the way for the next level of battery power for long-range e-mobility. Volkswagen will invest US$100 million in QuantumScape and will become the innovative... Read more →


Researchers from Philipps-Universität Marburg, with colleagues from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Toyota Motor Europe, have investigated the role of void space on ion tranport in a composite cathode for solid-state Li-ion batteries. Their study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, reports a significant effect of residual voids in... Read more →


Japan NEDO launches major $90M solid-state Li-ion battery project targeting EVs; 23 companies, 15 universities/research institutes

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has launched the second phase of a major solid-state Li-ion battery project in a quest to achieve both high energy density and safety in batteries for electric vehicles. NEDO set a target date of fiscal 2022 for the core technologies; prior... Read more →


Researchers, led by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, have used a polymer-folding mechanism to develop a new and versatile kind of solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) that currently offers proton conductivity faster than Nafion by a factor of 2, the benchmark for fuel cell membranes. As reported in a... Read more →


New program in Japan to push development of solid-state batteries

The Nikkei reports that Leading Japanese manufacturers have teamed up with the government in a program to develop solid-state batteries. The new program teams the Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (Libtec) with companies such as Toyota Motor and Panasonic. To support the program, Japan’s Ministry of... Read more →


Magna and Innoviz win solid-state LiDAR business with BMW Group

Magna and its partner Innoviz Technologies (earlier post) will supply the BMW Group with solid-state LiDAR for upcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms. The new-business award is one of the first in the auto industry to include solid-state LiDAR for serial production. While Magna has demonstrated via its MAX4 platform the... Read more →


Researchers at Zhejiang University of Technology in China have fabricated magnesium borate (of the form Mg2B2O5) nanowire-enabled poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-based solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) for solid-state lithium-ion batteries (SSLIBs). As reported in their paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters, these SSEs have enhanced ionic conductivity and a large electrochemical window.... Read more →


Imec produces prototype solid-state Li-ion battery with 200 Wh/L; solid electrolyte applied as a liquid

Imec, a global research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, has fabricated an innovative type of solid-state Li-ion battery achieving an energy density of 200 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). The battery is a significant milestone on imec’s quest to surpass wet Li-ion... Read more →


Researchers led by a team from MIT, with colleagues from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), BMW Group, and Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a fundamentally new approach to alter ion mobility and stability against oxidation of lithium ion conductors—a key component of rechargeable batteries—using lattice dynamics. The new approach,... Read more →


Researchers at Hasselt University in Belgium are proposing a new class of solid composite electrolytes (SCEs) for Li-ion batteries: deep eutectic solvent (DES)–silica composites. The DES-based gel electrolytes—to which the team refers as eutectogels (ETGs)—are characterized by high ionic conductivity (1.46 mS cm–1), thermal (up to 130 °C) and electrochemical... Read more →


Although Bosch intends to lead the mass market for electromobility that will emerge after 2020, the company has decided that the means to achieving that strategic end does not include manufacturing of the battery cells. Bosch announced that while it will rely on its systems expertise and the development and... Read more →


In new research by an international collaboration jointly led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist Brandon Wood and Mirjana Dimitrievska of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the team discovered why substituting one boron atom for one carbon atom in a key battery electrolyte material made lithium... Read more →


Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), with colleagues from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), have evaluated the current challenges and requirements for the large-scale production of all-solid-state lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they report their findings from workshops with... Read more →


Saft building European alliance for 7-year R&D push on advanced Li-ion and solid-state batteries; targeting gigafactory production scale

France-based advanced battery-maker Saft, a wholly-owned subsidiary of international energy giant Total, is building an alliance with other European partners to launch an ambitious program of research, development and industrialization for new generations of batteries focusing on advanced high-density Li-ion and solid-state battery technology. The program addresses all market segments,... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Maryland have designed a flexible lithium-ion conducting ceramic textile featuring fast lithium-ion conductors, good electrochemical stability, and scalable processing approaches to device integration for solid-state lithium metal batteries. Based on the garnet-type conductor Li7La3Zr2O12, the material exhibits a range of desirable chemical and structural properties,... Read more →


Ionic Materials has secured $65 million in a Series C financing round from a leading group of financial and strategic investors. The investors include companies from the battery manufacturing, consumer electronic and electric vehicle ecosystem which will be working with the company to speed the development of its solid polymer... Read more →


New Renault-Nissan-Mitsubish venture fund to invest up to $1B over five years; 1st investment in Ionic Materials for solid-state electrolyte

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi launched Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to $1 billion to support open innovation over the next five years. In its first year, the fund expects to invest up to $200 million in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused... Read more →


Fisker unveiled the Emotion electric luxury sedan at CES 2018. Featuring automatic butterfly doors and five integrated Quanergy S3 LiDAR sensors (earlier post) for autonomous driving up to Level 4, the all-wheel drive EMotion has a projected range of 400 miles (644 km) and a top speed of 161 mph... Read more →


The BMW Group and Solid Power partner to drive solid-state battery adoption in EVs (updated with chemistries)

The BMW Group is partnering with Solid Power, a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, in a joint effort to develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for electric vehicle applications. In this effort, the BMW Group will assist Solid Power to advance its technology in order to achieve performance levels required for... Read more →


Toyota aims for sales of more than 5.5M electrified vehicles including 1M ZEVS per year by 2030; no models developed without electrified version

Toyota Motor Corporation announced its plans regarding the mass adoption of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).... Read more →


Volkswagen, BASF present “Science Award Electrochemistry” to Dr. Jennifer Rupp from MIT; solid-state batteries

The BASF and Volkswagen international “Science Award Electrochemistry 2017” (earlier post) this year goes to Dr. Jennifer Rupp at MIT. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and academia selected her for her outstanding research results in the area of next-generation energy storage systems. In addition, a special prize for... Read more →


JCESR team advances prospects of solid-state magnesium-ion batteries with discovery of fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step towards making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe. Using ab initio calculations, nuclear magnetic resonance, and impedance spectroscopy measurements,... Read more →


Researchers at Empa and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have developed a prototype of a novel solid-state sodium battery with the potential to store extra energy and with improved safety. With a NaCrO2 cathode, closo-borate solid electrolyte and metallic sodium anode, the cell demonstrated reversible and stable cycling with a... Read more →


Fisker’s scientists, including a co-founder of solid-state battery start-up Sakti3 (acquired by Dyson, earlier post), filed patents this week (under a non-publication request) on flexible, superior energy density solid-state batteries. The patent includes claims over novel materials and manufacturing processes that are critical in achieving the required energy density, power... Read more →


VCU team proposes “super-LRAP” solid electrolyte with performance comparable to liquid electrolytes for solid-state Li-ion batteries

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have devised a new lithium superionic conductor with Li+ conductivity comparable with that of the organic liquid electrolytes. In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that cluster-based lithium superionic conductors can have very high conductivities of 10−2 to... Read more →


alpha-En Corporation and Argonne partner on Li metal anodes for EV batteries; $750K award from DOE

alpha-En Corporation, a company that has developed a patent-pending process to produce high-purity thin-film lithium metal anodes and associated products sustainably, will receive an award of $750,000 from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transition Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). This funding will be used to commercialize Argonne National... Read more →


Audi is showcasing its autonomous driving strategy at the IAA 2017 with the production Audi A8 (conditional automated driving at level 3 as standard) and two concept cars will also be demonstrating the Audi vision for level 4 and level 5. (Earlier post.) The four-door Level 5 design vision Audi... Read more →


Solid-state LiDAR company LeddarTech raises $101M in Series C

Solid-state LiDAR company LeddarTech (earlier post) completed a combined investment of US$101 million led by Osram and including Delphi, Magneti Marelli and Integrated Device Technology, Inc. as strategic investors, as well as Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Representing the Company’s largest capital raise to date, this round of funding will allow... Read more →


Solid-state LiDAR company Innoviz raises $65M; automotive-grade LiDAR for Level 3-5 autonomy available in 2019

Innoviz Technologies, a leading provider of LiDAR sensing solutions designed for the mass commercialization of autonomous vehicles, raised $65 million in Series B funding as its solid-state LiDAR solution moves into mass production. (Earlier post.) Strategic partners Delphi Automotive and Magna International participated in the round, along with additional new... Read more →


A researcher at Shizuoka University in Japan has identified new solid materials that could lead to the manufacture of non-toxic solid-state lithium-ion batteries, according to a study recently published in an open access paper in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Makoto Moriya investigated the development of supramolecular... Read more →


Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications. Described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials, the approach involves substituting germanium... Read more →


Researchers at MIT, and their colleagues in Germany, suggest that smooth surfaces on a solid electrolyte may prevent harmful Li infiltration, thereby improving the performance of solid-state Li-ion batteries. Their paper is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. Researchers have tried to get around the problems posed by conventional... Read more →


Report: Hyundai developing solid-state EV batteries itself

Citing “sources close to the matter,” the Korea Herald reports that Hyundai Motor is developing solid-state batteries for its electric vehicles, and has established pilot-scale production facilities. “Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology,”... Read more →


Ford favoring bulk-type solid-state battery for next-gen energy storage

Ford is exploring a variety of “beyond Li-ion” solutions, including Lithium-sulfur, Lithium-air and solid-state lithium-ion batteries. Of those, Ford is currently favoring a solid-state solution for several reasons, among them the better volumetric energy density this approach offers, said Ford engineer Venkat Anandan in a presentation at SAE WCX 17... Read more →


New high conductivity composite solid electrolyte for solid-state Li batteries

Researchers in S. Korea have developed a new composite solid electrolyte that shows very high total conductivity (9.4 × 10-4 S cm-1) at room temperaturefor all-solid-state lithium batteries. The new composite combines Li1+xAlxTi2-x(PO4)3 (LATP) with a NASICON (Na superionic conductor)-like structure with Bi2O3. LATP is regarded as a promising solid... Read more →