SemiSolid technology to improve battery cycle life, safety and cost, that results in affordable electric vehicles

Energy storage in automotive, telecom and power transmission is on the rise due to the advent of various new technologies. Though there is rising demand, still the battery technology has not evolved and still, it is dominated by the lead-acid battery. Recently, 24M Technologies, a startup battery company founded as a spin-off from MIT in the US has made a breakthrough in creating semi-solid lithium-ion battery cells with an energy density exceeding 350Wh per kg.

Semisolid lithium-ion is a significant advancement in lithium-ion technology and combines an overhaul in battery cell design with a series of manufacturing innovations that, when fully implemented. This technology may slash today’s lithium-ion costs by 50 percent and improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries. The technology will accelerate the global adoption of affordable energy storage.

In the automotive industry, we are seeing a lot more adoption of electric vehicles (EV), especially in India. To cater the growing EV market, Chennai-based automotive electrical components manufacturer Lucas TVS and 24M Technologies signed a license and services agreement to construct one of the first Giga factories in India using 24M’s innovative and disruptive SemiSolid technology.

Lucas TVS to manufacture India’s first SemiSolid lithium-ion cells

The first plant with world-class safety standards will be set up in Thervoy Kandigai, Gummudipundi near Chennai and Lucas TVS expect to build other plants throughout India to support the growing energy storage, electric mobility and lead-acid battery replacement markets. The Chennai plant is expected to begin commercial production in the second half of 2023. Based on the aggressive targets set by Govt in the Renewable energy and Electric Mobility space, Lucas TVS plans to grow the capacity of the plant to a globally competitive scale of 10 GWh in two stages.

The conventional lithium-ion battery cells have a large fraction of inactive, non-charge carrying materials, supporting metals and plastics that are layered within a cell’s casing. Those inactive materials are expensive and wasteful. With the invention of the semisolid thick electrode, 24M eliminates more than 80 percent of these inactive materials and increases the active layer thickness over traditional lithium-ion by up to 5 times. Using thick electrodes, the cell also stores more energy, bettering the performance of the battery as well as its cost.

Beyond its cost advantages, 24M’s patented cell design enhances safety, reliability, and traceability, by virtually eliminating potential metal contamination, the most common cause of shorts in conventional lithium-ion cells. In addition to these benefits, the SemiSolid electrode eliminates the use of binders and thereby enables the simplest and most efficient recycling of rejected or end of life cells. These advantages make it a preferred choice for demanding customers in critical areas such as energy storage and electric mobility.

The SemiSolid platform offers innovative solutions to the fast-growing storage and electric mobility markets and the emerging lead-acid battery replacement markets and is already seeing large capacities being planned globally in Japan, ASEAN, Europe, East Asia and the US. Lucas TVS will be the first to introduce SemiSolid lithium-ion batteries produced in India and specifically designed for the Indian market.

Lucas TVS plans to build products using different chemistries, in Pouch and Prismatic cell formats, with high energy density. The products will meet customer needs in e-mobility, stationary energy storage, including grid-scale markets, and lead-acid battery replacement. Lucas TVS will also be offering complete battery solutions to those customers who need them.

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