Canadian Manufacturing

Hydro-Quebec research partnership touts higher-density EV battery

Researchers say the current generation is approaching its top performance and has safety issues

MONTRÉAL—Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ) and Spanish energy research firm CIC Energigune say they have developed the next generation of batteries with hopes of replacing lithium-ion batteries in transportation electrification.

The partners say their Solid State Battery technology will lead to the development of safe, powerful, inexpensive batteries thanks to two main innovations:

  • The technology uses a solid electrolyte, which is nonflammable
  • The anode is made of metallic lithium with a specially treated surface, which allows batteries to reach high energy densities without resorting to unsustainable elements, such as cobalt

Lithium-ion batteries, which dominate the cell-phone and electric-vehicle (EV) markets, offer EVs a range of around 160 km. But this current generation is approaching its top performance, and it represents some safety issues, as the liquid electrolytes are flammable.

“Our technology will lead to batteries with a range of more than 350 km per charge,” explained Karim Zaghib, manager, energy storage and conversion at Hydro-Québec. “It’s a mature, really powerful technology and it will be ready to bring to market very soon.”

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