Battery manufacturer Saft, a subsidiary of oil giant Total, has announced that it will join forces with a handful of European partners to form a development R&D partnership focused on creating cutting-edge batteries. Saft CEO Ghislain Lescuyer recognizes that “batteries are at the heart of the current technological revolution. Their development and production play a strategic role in the ongoing transition to clean mobility and clean energy systems.”
The primary focus of the initiative is on two specific technologies – advanced high-density lithium-ion and solid-state – and is aimed at several industries, including electrified vehicles, other forms of transportation such as rail and aviation, and energy storage. According to Saft, not only will these next-generation batteries provide improved performance and safety, as well as lower costs, compared to current Li-ion technology, but they will create a new standard for integration into their overall system environments. They will also feature state-of-the-art digitalized functions and interfaces. Saft says that it will meet the most stringent sustainability standards throughout this project.
The new R&D alliance will include several material suppliers, including: Solvay, a Belgian materials and chemical company; Manz, a German specialist in battery cell and module assembly; and Germany tech giant Siemens.
“This program is focusing on the battery technology of the future, and when development of such solid-state technology is successfully achieved, innovative industrialization processes with scalable 1 GWh manufacturing blocks will start,” said Lescuyer. However, Saft was careful to note that “to build European leadership in this domain, the Alliance will need strong regulatory support and appropriate funding from European and national authorities.”