Development of ultra-high-power battery cells for the automotive industry begins


A high energy density variant of an Ultra High-Power (UHP) lithium-ion cell is being developed, with support from Imperial College London for battery modelling, thanks to new investment from a government investment strategy fund.

AMTE Power has secured funding from the Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, worth £1 million, to develop the battery via its Power Up project.

The aim of the project is to establish the necessary volume manufacturing process for the UHP cell through the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the newly opened manufacturing development facility in Coventry.

Access to the UKBIC will allow AMTE to utilise their gigascale manufacturing production capability, as well as the facility’s 300×100 pouch assembly line, in the development of its high-performance cells.

AMTE Power is also partnering with Imperial College London, which has been developing new ways for the battery industry to design its cells with a particular focus on performance, interaction between cells, and thermal management. AMTE will use Imperial’s research to highlight opportunities for cell improvement in both useable energy, lifetime, and cost, within its UHP cells.

By investigating a new approach to cell design and building on previous Faraday Battery Challenge projects, AMTE Power – working with its UK partners – is aiming to build its new generation of best-in-class cells at its UK factory.

The UHP cell design has high energy density, excellent heat transfer capability using tab cooling, and prevents overheating during cycling and fast charging. AMTE Power has been engaging with its customers and sharing its progress such as making a start in the development of a superior cell. The cell will have a product design, formats, and characteristics which provide significant competitive advantages for its customers.

Jeff Pratt, managing director of UKBIC, said: “Our national battery manufacturing facility is already beginning to scale up new cells and battery packs with client companies looking to set up manufacturing centres in the UK. We are thrilled to be working on the Power Up project to help establish the feasibility of manufacturing AMTE Power’s Ultra High-Power Cells at volume. This is a great example of our ability to prove emergent battery products and real-world manufacturing scale up on behalf of our clients.”

Steven Farmer, head of technology and product development at AMTE Power, said: “This upscaling project will mark a huge step in the right direction in creating next generation batteries for electric vehicles in the UK. Many customer applications require cells designed with high energy density and higher charge rates than are currently offered by other cell manufacturers.

“Partnering with the specialist research team at Imperial College London will enable us to build on the energy performance of our Ultra High-Power cell and produce a more resilient battery to support our future zero-emission society.”

The Faraday Battery Challenge was launched in 2017 with the ability to invest £246 million to support the development of new battery technologies via research, innovation, and scale-up facilities. Battery technology will play a crucial role in the electrification of future vehicles and other applications that support an electrified economy, helping to lower carbon and help tackle air pollution while creating new opportunities and industries.

By focusing on the automotive sector initially, the challenge will allow help the UK move towards its target for full electrification and zero emissions vehicles.

It will also make the most of the growing batteries market – estimated to be worth £5 billion in the UK, and £50 billion across Europe, by 2025.

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