Thursday, January, 17, 2019 03:00:05

Reports confirm that researchers at the University of Limerick (UL) are leading a project worth €8 million for developing next generation battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs). Apparently, Bernal Institute of UL would be leading the research project, known as Si-DRIVE and funded by EU, for developing battery technology for higher performance EVs.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that this move comes on the heels of EU policy demanding 40 percent of all new cars to be EVs by 2030. If the ambitious targets of EU are to be met, significant improvements are required to existing technology of EV battery for improving driving range and charging times. Currently, only 2 per cent of the European fleet is electric.

Leader of the Si-DRIVE project, Professor Kevin M. Ryan, mentioned that this project would tackle the key barriers to EV uptake, that relates to recharge times, cost and driving range by re-imagining the lithium ion battery completely using innovative cathode, anode and electrolyte materials.

Dr. Hugh Geaney, the project’s researcher, was quoted saying that this project would bring leading experts together from across Europe for delivering cost-effective and sustainable battery technology, which is needed for environmentally friendly EVs of the future.

Further from the reports, this project would mostly be focusing on sustainability of the system, with expensive and rare materials like cobalt being targeted for removal.  The researchers said that the green focus would be supplemented by assessing the suitability of the cells for second life applications, performing life cycle analysis and through the development of recycling processes for cell materials.

UL would further focus on the development of anodes materials based on high performance silicon, alongside the role as project coordinator. The research would lead to the development of lightweight anodes, that are comprised of abundant elements which could reduce the final battery’s overall weight.

The project’s coordination would purportedly ensure that UL is positioned as a leader in the battery research, by developing research links and demonstrating the incomparable performance of its advanced anode materials.