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25 02 2019 04

At the beginning of the year, the Fraunhofer Institute ISC and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) launched a joint research project called IE4B to create the basis for production-ready solid-state batteries for electric cars.

The project builds on the strengths of both research partners. While Empa, based in the Swiss city of Dübendorf, is contributing the chemical and physical foundations for the new battery technology, the Fraunhofer ISC, based in Würzburg, Germany, is adding its know-how in process development and battery cell production, including the prototypes.

According to the partners, the leap in technology towards solid-state batteries offers an opportunity to bring key technology to Europe that was previously firmly in the hands of Asian companies. “Battery cells of this kind do not require flammable liquid electrolytes and thus provide significantly improved operational reliability. They also provide advantages in terms of size and weight, because less complex safety housing is required,” according to an accompanying press release. By using metallic anode material instead of the graphite anodes commonly used today, a higher energy density and significantly shorter charging times are also possible.

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