Materials research firm Ilika has opened a large-format battery facility for the development and initial production of solid-state lithium-ion batteries in Hampshire, UK.
The Goliath Pre-Pilot Line (GPPL) will support the firm’s Goliath programme, which aims to develop large-format solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EV).
The pre-pilot line will be used to scale-up and transfer the company’s technology to pilot production level.
The new facilitiy is being partially funded by £5 million ($6 million) of grant funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge, which is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund delivered by UK Research & Innovation.
The new building has more than 600m2 of battery development laboratories and production equipment, plus two dry rooms installed to ISO 7 standard.
The laboratories include state-of-the-art equipment for the characterisation of source materials, the preparation of solid-state batteries and the testing of cells.
Ilika’s CEO Graeme Purdy said: “This facility has been designed, built and commissioned from a standing start in Q4 last year. The GPPL will support us to to further develop and scale-up its solid-state technology for electric vehicles and give the UK its first footprint for the development of a technology expected to significantly disrupt the automotive industry.”
Solid-state lithium batteries use a non-flammable solid electrolyte and have the potential to offer faster charging times, increased energy density, 10-year cycle life and low discharge leakage compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Purdy said solid-state battery technology for automotive applications was developing rapidly and key parts of its successful commercialisation would be optimised processes on an industrial scale and competitive pricing.
Last month, Ilika announced it had received £900,000 from the Faraday funding pot for its ‘Granite’ project, which will develop and test solid-state battery packs for EVs. The project is in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover, Warwick University and AGM Batteries.
Speaking of ‘Granite’, Purdy said: “This project will take the important steps of developing a cost-effective model to transfer the technology from Ilika’s pre-pilot line to a pilot line facility, capable of producing these batteries at commercial volumes and an acceptable price point.”