General Motors and battery manufacturer Microvast will work together to develop specialized battery separator technology for EVs and build a new separator plant in the United States, which is expected to create hundreds of new jobs, the companies announced on November 2.
This work will be supported by a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Initiative.
Separators are safety-critical EV battery components that serve to separate the anode from the cathode, allowing ion transfer. GM will bring its advanced separation and coating technology to the collaboration with Microvast.
The companies will work together to develop new splitter technology that can help improve the safety, charging and battery life of electric vehicles. This advanced technology is designed to improve the thermal stability of EV batteries and work with nearly all types of lithium-ion cells, including graphite, silicon and lithium-metal anodes and nickel-rich, cobalt-free anodes , lithium iron phosphate and high-voltage cathodes.
“This collaboration with Microvast supports our ongoing efforts to develop a North American-focused electric vehicle supply chain and help get everyone into an electric vehicle,” said Kent Helfrich, GM chief technology officer. and vice president of research and development, in a press release. “It will also provide us with pioneering separator technology that can be used in future Ultium batteries and, more importantly, support our continued commitment to safety.”
Dr. Wenjuan Mattis, Chief Technology Officer at Microvast, added: “We expect the safety benefits of our innovative, highly thermally stable polyaramid separators to transform the development of high-energy lithium-ion batteries and generate a significant value for the industry.
Additionally, the Department of Energy again recognized GM’s battery expertise by selecting the company for its Battery500 Consortiumwhich receives $75 million for a second phase of research.
Led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the consortium is a team of battery experts from national labs, universities and industry working to develop more reliable, affordable, longer range and better performing EV batteries.
GM is the sole automaker selected for the consortium and will work with other members to accelerate the development of high-energy rechargeable lithium metal batteries.
Originally posted on loaded fleet