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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on March 24, 2011 by  & 

European battery project SOMABAT begins

The SOMABAT (SOlid MAterials for high power Li polymer BATteries) project is a recent venture that aims to produce working prototype lithium polymer batteries for use in commercial electric vehicles. Various parameters will be explored by a European research conglomerate consisting of 13 partners with the primary goals set to decrease environmental impact, increase stability and enhance performance.
 
Spanish organization Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía lead the 36 month project, which will chiefly focus on utilizing diverse materials and processing techniques to develop nanostructured solid materials from which to manufacture key battery components such as anodes, cathodes and electrolytes. SOMABAT is aspiring to produce a battery with an energy density of up to 220 Wh/kg and a final cost less than $208/kWh (€150/kWh), incorporating recyclable solid components.
 
Multiple sub-groups will focus on differing aspects of the project with the task of producing these recyclable components undertaken by Recupyl and Accurec, enabling 50 percent of the whole battery to be recycled and significantly contributing to the outcome of the Life Cycle Assessment.
 
Safety issues will be explored by ITE and Institute of Chemistry Timisoara of Romanian Academy in a bid to diminish, or ideally eliminate, frequent problems such as leakage and overcharge. The teams' solution will use porous polymeric materials and polyphosphonates.
 
 
The project will explore power capacity as a prominent concern in commercial EVs. Lithium iron and manganese phosphate based cathodes will be developed by CIN2 (CSIC-ICN) and Umicore to maximize energy storage in limited space. To increase energy density by 30 percent compared to conventional carbon-based equivalents, the Université de Liège, Kiev National University of Technologies Design, and ITE will partner to create anode materials sourced from imitation carbon and elements recovered from agricultural waste. These developments are ideally configured towards the commercial EV market as both advancements are cheaper and more reliable than conventional units.
 
Additional research sectors include materials integration, modeling procedures and management systems and will be explored by a five-company team consisting of Cegasa International, Virtual Vehicle Competence Center, Lithium Balance, Cleancarb, and Atos Origin.
 
The European Commission is supplying $5.1 million (€3.7 million) of the total $7 million (€5.04 million) project cost.
 
which has now been renamed from Future of Electric Vehicles to reflect its unique covering of the whole subject.
 
 
 
References: European Commission CORDIS, Green Car Congress
 
Image source: 12 Degrees of Freedom
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