A new project based in the UK is aiming to double the current range of electric vehicles with the use of new silicon batteries. Headed up by startup company Nexeon, the £10 million project aims to develop new silicon materials for Li-ion batteries. The project aims to extend the range of electric vehicles to over 400 miles, which is approximately double the current capacity for most conventional battery devices.
The project will focus on utilizing silicon as an alternative to carbon in the battery cells. Industry experts will also explore the battery designs and enhance the form within electric vehicles. Nexeon will be responsible for the promoting and commercialize the silicon anode. Researchers at the University College London (UCL) will focus on developing a more effective material and improving the overall performance of the battery cell.
Silicon is being regarded as the alternative material due to its potential to increase the energy storage of these devices. The CEO of Nexeon highlighted the biggest challenge the electric vehicle industry faces is related to range, cost, charging times and available infrastructure. All of these factors are connected as they relate to the limitations and capacity of batteries. Improving the capacity of batteries will, in turn, reduce the challenges facing the future success of the electric vehicle industry.
Funding for the project has been received by Innovate UK, as part of the wider Faraday Battery Challenge scheme. The project intends to make the UK the focus for research development and production of battery devices for the automotive and wider industry. The project also includes expanding education and awareness of batteries within schools.