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Materials for future highly performant electrified vehicle batteries (RIA)


New or significantly improved materials and/or chemistries have to be developed to optimise the battery cell and its components, with features clearly beyond the state-of the-art technologies that are currently used in commercial cells for automotive applications. These could be based, for example, on high voltage, Nickel- or Lithium-rich cathode materials; Lithium-Silicon, Lithium-Sulphur, Lithium-metal, or metal-air systems; new polymer or ceramic electrolytes, or any other technology that would be able to generate the required impact (including the so called ""advanced Lithium-ion"" and ""post-Lithium-ion"" technologies).

Proposals should in particular investigate phenomena and problems at the interfaces of the components of the battery cell electrode systems that are often not well understood. They should also solve the safety issues encountered by the current Li-ion chemistries, including thermal runaway (e.g. through the use of solid-state electrolytes instead of flammable, liquid electrolytes). Knowledge on the ageing processes in order to know the cell parameters for eventual second life use should be as well gained.

Production aspects should be considered during the prototyping phase. Simulation and modelling for the development phase as well as life cycle assessment, and specially-tailored test procedures for validating the new technology should be included. Scaling-up for production will not be covered under the topic.

Special attention should be given to sustainable materials, the circular economy and eventual second life applications, and as far as possible to materials that are easily available in Europe, in order to avoid market dependence, e.g. of critical raw materials. Recycling should be inherently possible on large scale, thus enabling overall costs that will not hamper market acceptance.

The following aspects should also be considered: prepare for developments in European standardisation and regulation; gain technological and market advantage of a new competitive European technology. Synergies with the stationary battery production sector could be explored.

Activities should start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 5 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Batteries are still a hampering factor for a clear market acceptance of Electric Vehicles as they are still not able to deliver the required performance considering driving range, fast charging capacity and safety for a reasonable price. This is mainly due to the limitations of the current Li-ion cell technologies especially in terms of safety – due to the use of liquid, flammable electrolytes – and energy density, which approaches their fundamental limits. New solutions have to be developed that will resolve the above mentioned cost and performance constraints of Electric Vehicle (EV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) batteries, for a real breakthrough in the deployment and market share of these vehicles. New successful technologies will strengthen the whole battery cell related value chain and will help to re-establish European competitiveness also in battery cell production.

The performance levels of the proposed solution(s) should be in line with those specified in the relevant parts of the SET-Plan.[[Action 7 of the SET Plan on ""Batteries for e-mobility and stationary storage"",

  • Reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollutants through the enhanced deployment of electric vehicles enabled by high performing, cost efficient and “user friendly” batteries;
  • Development of a new, market competitive European battery cell chemistry and materials technology that will allow reduction of dependence from foreign supply, and build the knowledge base for the creation of a competitive European automotive cell production;
  • Strong improvement on the technical performance of EV batteries. Gravimetric energy density at cell level is expected to reach 400-450 Wh/kg by 2030, while power density should be beyond 700 W/kg;
  • Significant reduction of recharging times compared to current technologies, e.g. by enabling very high charging currents or other design-based solutions, avoiding at the same time battery materials degradation and losses in the longevity as it is currently the case after fast charging;
  • Cyclability should be suitable for automotive long term application, and ideally reach 5000 cycles for second life-use batteries by 2030;
  • The new solution is expected to be market competitive in 5-10 years and, by 2030, its costs should be below 75 €/kWh at battery pack level;
  • Recyclability should be guaranteed with recycling efficiency beyond 50% reaching economic viability (that has to be demonstrated in the project).

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.

This work contributes to the running EC-EGVIA agreement and to EGVI related activities of the “Transport Challenges”.