GM’s enterprise arm invested in battery startup SolidEnergy Techniques 5 years in the past. Now, GM is tapping the MIT spinout to assist it pack extra power into its batteries, the newest in a string of strikes by the automaker geared toward accelerating its shift to electrical autos.
GM president Mark Reuss, who introduced the partnership Thursday at a Washington Publish Dwell convention, stated the work with SolidEnergy Techniques to enhance the power density of lithium-ion batteries will hopefully drive mass adoption of EVs. As a part of the settlement, the 2 corporations plan to construct a prototyping facility in Woburn, Massachusetts, aiming to have a high-capacity, pre-production battery by 2023.
SolidEnergy Techniques, or SES, has developed an “anode-free” lithium metallic battery that improves total life. In keeping with MIT, materials advances in SES’s batteries make them twice as energy-dense whereas sustaining security akin to the lithium-ion batteries utilized in in the present day’s smartphones, EVs, wearables, drones and different gadgets. With much less weight and extra space from a smaller battery pack, autos may turn out to be extra light-weight or have extra room for extra know-how.
That know-how, mixed with GM’s personal IP, may give the automaker with a aggressive edge over Tesla, the automaker with the most cost effective lithium battery cells and EV battery packs, in accordance with a new report from Cairn Energy Research Advisors.
“We have already got a number of vital IP with regard to lithium metallic batteries with 49 patents granted and one other 45 pending,” stated GM spokesperson Philip Leinert. “The work we’re going to do with SES with regard to lithium battery prototypes will assist speed up that work.”
GM has grand ambitions for EVs. The corporate plans to introduce 30 EVs globally by 2025 and promote solely EVs by 2035.
GM’s announcement comes one yr after the corporate revealed its Ultium battery platform— the batteries, cells, modules, drive models and energy electronics which are the center of its EV technique. The Ultium platform that will likely be utilized in a broad vary of EVs throughout its Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC manufacturers, in addition to the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle that was revealed in January 2020. The all-electric GMC Hummer, which ought to go into manufacturing on the finish of the yr, would be the first automobile to be constructed with the first-generation Ultium batteries.
Reuss additionally mentioned breakthroughs with GM’s next-generation of Ultium batteries. He didn’t present specifics, however GM goals to push efficiency whereas slashing prices. By mid decade, the corporate needs to extend the power density twofold and scale back the price of the batteries by 60%, they usually’re hoping the partnership with SES will assist them get there.
“Affordability and vary are two main limitations to mass EV adoption,” stated Reuss. “With this next-generation Ultium chemistry, we consider we’re on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation enchancment in power density and price. There’s much more room to enhance in each classes, and we intend to innovate sooner than some other firm on this house.”
This isn’t GM’s solely enterprise into the world of battery improvement. The corporate invested $3.2 million in solid-state battery firm Sakti3 again in 2010, and is presently in talks to assemble a second giant battery manufacturing unit in america.