High Powered Anodes for Fast Charging Buses

Lead Participant: Echion Technologies Ltd

Abstract

The University of Cambridge, battery start-up Echion Technologies, and electric bus powertrain supplier Vantage Power are partnering to turn a disruptive battery technology that was demonstrated at the lab scale into a commercial product enabling long-range electric buses which can be recharged 5 times faster than the current state of the art.

The automotive industry is about to undergo a profound disruption with the advent of mass-market electric transportation. As the benefits of electrified transport progressively outweigh internal combustion engine due to the environmental, social, political and eventual economic improvements. Industry experts agree that the majority of the UK's automotive fleet will be electrified to some extent by 2035. To embrace that revolution and remain a global leader in vehicle manufacturing, the UK's automotive supply chain will need to develop large scale lithium ion batteries (LIB) production capabilities, as the battery system capture up to 50% of the added value of electric cars, and are impractical to import in large quantities due to inherent shipping safety restrictions. This project brings together young, highly innovative, UK companies and one of the country's oldest institution together to industrialise a unique battery technology. These developments contribute to creating a favourable ecosystem for battery manufacturing in the UK, which will ultimately attract foreign capital to invest in UK jobs and form the backbone of a strong UK automotive industry for the 21st century.

This innovation relies on a novel material enabling significant improvements to a key battery component. LIBs store and release electricity by means of chemical reactions of lithium ions within electrodes -- the positive and negative terminals seen on everyday batteries. Our invention replaces the standard negative electrode material, graphite, with a unique nanomaterial that can store 3 times more lithium ions for a given mass, at a 5-times faster rate, without safety concerns or long-term battery degradation. This material can be produced cheaply in industrial quantities, and drops in as a one to one replacement to graphite in the battery manufacturing process.

The goal of this project is to manufacture vehicle-ready LIB cells and a demonstration module using the innovative anode technology, which will be extensively tested in a relevant environment to quantify their performances and safety prior to vehicle integration. It is a significant step towards bringing that disruptive technology to the market and will serve as a flagship for the UK ability to produce world-leading battery technologies.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Echion Technologies Ltd, Cambridge £840,466 £ 588,326
 

Participant

Vantage Power Limited, LONDON £64,691 £ 29,111
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom £382,907 £ 382,907

Publications

10 25 50