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The "Zellkobatt"-project aims to optimise lithium-ion cells. Their goal is to increase the number of e-vehicles on German roads.

Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries are the dominant technology for today’s electric vehicles (EVs), but are mainly produced in Asia and North America. The “ZellkoBatt” project, which was launched in March 2020 by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) in Baden-Württemberg, hopes to change that. The government-backed project ultimately aims to bring battery manufacturing to the heart of Europe, in line with Germany’s target to increase the number of EVs on the roads to 10 million by 2030.

Over the next three years, the ZellkoBatt team will optimise the design and production of large format li-ion batteries for EVs and find ways to reduce the cost of components and production. The results of the project will be transferred directly to ZSW’s test production line in Ulm, which is set up to simulate mass production. The research data will be made available to external partners via a cloud-based data interface to assist in modelling production methods and intelligent process control.

“Electromobility will change the supply industry for the automotive industry very significantly”, says Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, head of battery research at the ZSW, speaking to Solar Server. “We must do everything in our power to rapidly advance the development and production of battery systems in order to ensure the future viability of Germany as an automotive country. With the ZellkoBatt project, we are expanding our existing technology infrastructure to accelerate the transfer of innovative battery cells to industrial mass production.”

ZellkoBatt will receive EUR 12.7 million from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) until 2023. It forms a key stage in the BMBF’s umbrella project “Battery Research Factory” and is part of the Federal Government’s high-tech strategy 2025 for the establishment of a competitive battery cell production in Germany.