UKBIC and Britishvolt work together on high-nickel batteries

Britishvolt have announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to develop batteries with high-nickel content.

Here, Jon Regnart, APC Automotive Trend Strategist, shares what this might mean for the UK automotive sector:

“The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is a strategic investment by the UK government to facilitate technological advances in battery manufacturing and help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of battery technology development, so it’s great news that they will be working with Britishvolt.

“Given the UK’s position as a predominately luxury and performance car manufacturing location, there are properties within high-nickel batteries that lend themselves to this market.

“Offering high energy densities at a modest cost, manufacturers in Europe and North America tend to gravitate towards high-nickel batteries such as Nickel Managanese Cobalt (NMC) and Nickel Cobalt Aluminium (NCA) batteries. These chemistries currently dominate in western markets as they have offered the highest range and are best suited in vehicles that travel long distances, experience high utilisation or are heavier.

“Industry is demanding higher performance and lower cost Li-ion battery technologies and manufacturing processes. The most probable routes to get there are described in the Automotive Council UK Roadmaps, launched by the Advanced Propulsion Centre in 2020. They map out all key trends in battery chemistries, showing the importance of high-nickel cathodes.

“The demand for increased density Li-ion cathodes is driving high-nickel content in batteries across the industry. To reach mass markets, cost will need to come down and that’s where a lot of innovation needs to take place.

“A series of incremental innovations are happening in these high-volume performance cells that simultaneously improve the energy density and reduce the cost per kilowatt hour of power. In the next one-to-two years nickel rich NMCs such as NMC9.5.5 and NCA95 cathodes will enter the market, and over the next three-to-five years we’ll see increasing levels of silicon added alongside graphite in anodes – rising from 5% currently to as high as 20%.”

The graphic below and attached is a map of all relevant chemistries and where they fit in within the market sectors. Created from APC insight, please reference APC if using this graph.

 

 

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) hold a unique position between industry, academia and government which gives us access to insight that enables our Technology Trends team to produce automotive forecasting.

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