The Tech

Nexeon and partners win £7 million in funding to develop silicon anode tech

Silicon anode specialist Nexeon, along with a couple of partners, has been awarded £7 million in Innovate UK funding for the SUNRISE project, which will develop battery materials based on silicon as a replacement for carbon in the cell anode Nexeon will lead the silicon material development and scale-up stages of the project, while polymer… Read more »

Waterloo team develops low-cost approach to stabilize lithium metal anodes

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a way to stabilize lithium metal electrodes by forming a single-ion-conducting and stable protective surface layer in vivo. In “An In Vivo Formed Solid Electrolyte Surface Layer Enables Stable Plating of Li Metal,” published in the journal Joule, Quan Pang, Xiao Liang and colleagues explain how they… Read more »

Lithium-ion battery inspired by safety glass could reduce fire risk

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a way to mitigate the risk of battery failure during automobile accidents by including slits along the electrodes. In “Limiting Internal Short-Circuit Damage by Electrode Partition for Impact-Tolerant Li-Ion Batteries,” published in the journal Joule, the research team explains how this technology could allow manufacturers… Read more »

Predicting the properties of lightweight carbon fiber composites

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics represent a promising lightweight replacement for heavy steel. However, for carbon fiber to be widely adopted, new, more economical composites need to be developed. Unfortunately, carbon fiber properties are difficult to model, as they depend on complex features such as fiber loading, length distribution and orientation. Now researchers at the DOE’s Pacific… Read more »

Toyota and Panasonic explore joint prismatic battery development

Toyota and Panasonic have agreed to begin studying the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business. Panasonic has positioned lithium-ion batteries as one of its key businesses, and its automotive batteries are used by many automakers worldwide. Toyota, maker of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, has been a holdout when… Read more »

Skeleton and Sumitomo partner to distribute graphene-based ultracapacitors

Ultracapacitor manufacturer Skeleton Technologies has signed a distribution agreement with Sumitomo Europe to provide energy storage solutions for the EV industry. Skeleton’s graphene-based ultracapacitors boast high power density, a recharge time of 2-3 seconds and more than one million life cycles. In EVs, ultracapacitors can be used in tandem with lithium-ion batteries, an arrangement that… Read more »

ARPA-E issues $100-million funding opportunity for early-stage energy R&D

The DOE has announced up to $100 million in funding for new projects as part of ARPA‑E’s latest OPEN funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001858). Areas of research covered by this FOA include all aspects of transportation, including electrification and energy efficiency. Under the Transportation Technical Category, subcategories include: electric motors; fuel cells; alternative vehicle designs such as… Read more »

BMW Group invests 200 million euros in Battery Cell Competence Center

The BMW Group plans to consolidate its battery cell expertise at a new interdisciplinary competence center, which will open in early 2019. The company will invest a total of 200 million euros in the location over the next four years. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, BMW Board Member Klaus Fröhlich said, “We will be concentrating… Read more »

Swiss researchers develop prototype solid-state sodium battery

Researchers from Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have built a prototype solid-state battery based on sodium as an alternative to lithium. The scientists described their research in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Using metallic lithium as an anode material would theoretically increase energy… Read more »