Canadian power utility Hydro-Québec has signed an agreement to use solid-state lithium-ion battery patents from the joint winner of the 2019 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, John Goodenough.
The patents relate to an electrolyte to be used in solid-state lithium batteries and were co-invented by The University of Texas at Austin’s professor Goodenough and Dr. Maria Helena Braga, an associate professor at the University of Porto, Portugal.
Hydro-Québec will now cooperate with vehicle OEM Mercedes-Benz to test new materials under field conditions to accelerate the development cycle with the goal of bringing a electric vehicle battery to the commercialisation stage.
Work will be undertaken at Hydro-Québec’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage, which is a research and development institute for advanced battery materials, focusing on solid-state battery technologies.
Jochen Hermann, vice president Development eDrive, Mercedes-Benz, said: “The battery is a key component of our electric vehicles. Mastering their chemistry is therefore a focal topic for Mercedes-Benz research and development.
“Solid-state batteries are supposed to be a next important technology leap for e-mobility, meaning an alternative to today’s li-ion battery systems. The latest advancements Hydro-Québec researchers have made are very promising and we are looking forward to the first results of our joint development program.”
The relationship between The University of Texas at Austin’s and Hydro-Québec has previously allowed the Canadian firm to bring patents to the licensing stage and bring to market battery innovations devised at the institution.
“The partnership with Hydro-Quebec has provided the critical technology development needed for commercial production of intellectual property generated at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Dr. Goodenough.
Hydro-Québec developed a first-generation solid-state battery in the 1990s and has continued research and development work on improving both efficiency and manufacturing methods with a view to production of a new generation of batteries.