Gigafactory developer Britishvolt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with materials firm Posco Chemical to secure a supply of anode and cathode active materials for its lithium-ion battery.
The MoU provides Britishvolt with a supply of battery materials as it starts to ramp up pilot production prior to switching to volume manufacture of battery cells at its gigafactory in Northumberland, UK “in the coming years”.
The MoU also includes the provision for joint materials testing and European Union localisation, where practical.
South Korea’s Posco owns mines and processing facilities across the battery sector that will ensure an end-to-end supply chain.
4690 battery development
Last month, Britishvolt revealed a development roadmap for its 4690 lithium-ion cell technology, starting with digital-twin modelling— a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process.
The 4690 format will be developed and prototyped in Germany before being transferred to the UK for scale-up at a R&D facility in the Midlands that the firm is building ahead of large-scale production at the company’s Northumberland gigafactory.
The Nordhausen, Germany facility is part of lithium-ion cylindrical cell developer EAS, a subsidiary of Monbat, that Britishvolt bought in May for around €36 million ($37 million).
Orral Nadjari, founder/CEO of Britishvolt, said: “We start with digital twin/simulation modelling, exactly the same way we did with our 21700 cell development, and then move on to physical prototyping.
“This improves efficiency, reduces waste, lowers costs and makes us leaner and more agile. We can also tailor the length of the cell to suit specific applications.”
The use of digital twin, via its simulation and modelling capabilities, will provide Britishvolt with analytical data and tools to tailor the 4690 cell.
The roadmap follows the successful production of Britishvolt’s first 21700 A-samples at the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), following prototyping at WMG, University of Warwick.
The first batch of 21700s are due to be shipped to customer for testing later this year.
Battery R&D centre
In May, Britishvolt announced it would invest more than £200 million ($240 million) with partner Prologis, to create an R&D centre in Hams Hall to build on its home-grown battery intellectual property.
Practical completion of the development is due this month with fit out and equipment installation to be undertaken through to end Q3, 2023.