The Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick (UL) will be leading a €8m EU (~$9m USD)-funded research project called Si-DRIVE to develop battery technology for higher-performance EVs.
The project will focus on the sustainability aspect of EVs, in particular the removal of rare and expensive materials used in batteries, such as cobalt. This green focus will be supplemented by performing life cycle analysis, assessing the suitability of the cells for secondhand use, and through the development of recycling processes for cell materials. UL will also focus on the development of high-performance, silicon-based anode materials with the intent of developing lightweight anodes that can reduce the overall weight of the final batteries.
“This project will tackle the major barriers to EV uptake, which relate to driving range, cost and recharge times by completely re-imagining the lithium ion battery using innovative anode, cathode, and electrolyte materials,” said professor Kevin M. Ryan, leader of the Si-DRIVE project.
The Si-DRIVE consortium consists of 16 academic and industrial partners from seven European countries. Across these teams, battery cell safety enhancements will use non-flammable solid electrolytes, which will be custom-designed to allow much faster charging times.
Dr Hugh Geaney, researcher on the project stated: “The Si-DRIVE project will bring together leading experts from across Europe to deliver the sustainable and cost-effective battery technology required for environmentally friendly EVs of the future.”