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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Polymer solid electrolyte lithium batteries for electric vehicles : further development approaching vehicle demonstration


Develop a 1 kWh polymer solid Li battery operating at 100-140 C with a terminal voltage of 24 V and a capacity of 42 Amp.

Electrical vehicles with lead acid batteries have existed for many years. This concept, however never brought about a breakthrough due to the fact that the cost is too high and the range with one charge is limited to 60 km. One possible alternative is the sodium sulphur battery which would allow a range of 150 km on one charge, but the fact that they operate at 250-350 C is a drawback in particular as only 10-20 thermal cycles are allowed during the life of a battery. The EC started the development of a completely new battery 10 years ago. This resulted in the solid Li battery with a Li metal anode, a composite cathode and a polymer electrolyte each consisting of a thin (0,1 mm thick) sheet stacked on top of each other. They operate at room temperature and can be easily mass produced to form a 0.3 mm thick battery laminate. These batteries have energy densities which would allow a range of 300 km on one charge. At present only small batteries of 10 Wh are available. For applications in electrical vehicles s aling up to 20 kWh is necessary. This scaling up iq carried out in two stages. In a first stage two groups (contracts JOUE-CT90-0030 and JOUE-CT90-0034) develop two 1 kWh solid Li batteries built according to different concepts. In a second phase the best concept is selected for scaling up to 20 kWh and integration in an electrical vehicle. Work in project JOUE-CT90-0034 is focused on scaling up single cells from 40 cm2 to 1800 cm2, and development of the bipolar battery concept with parallel and series combinations and the study and modelling of the thermal management of the battery at 100-140 C under simulated driving conditions. Materials R&D is carried out, in particular to study electrolyte stability. Delivery to EC of a solid Li battery of 1 kWh is foreseen at the end of the project.

In this project the production of Li battery laminate was carried by a simple batch type production method. Due to the fact that the performance of battery cells from different batches strongly diverged, the target of a 1 KWh could not be achieved. In the extension it is therefore envisaged to build a small pilot production plant which produces Li laminate in a continuous way and allows the production of battery cells with a performance within very narrow limits.


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United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
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OX11 0RA Didcot - Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

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