A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, has announced its investment in Ionic Materials, a materials technology company that has developed a unique polymer electrolyte enabling new levels of safety and performance in advanced batteries. This step is the latest in a series of strategic investments that A123 has completed in order to augment its own developments in the field of next generation batteries.
A123 will work jointly with Ionic Materials to apply their respective innovations in materials, cell design and manufacturing to achieve new levels of safety in high-performing batteries for plug-in electric vehicles. A123 says it looks forward to commercializing the polymer electrolyte technology of Ionic Materials in new products that will substantially extend the breadth of the company’s cell portfolio. This move further establishes A123’s commitment to targeted innovation in energy storage technologies that provide exceptional electric driving range at a highly competitive cost.
Ionic Materials’ breakthrough solid polymer electrolyte has achieved significant advances in the operating temperature of solid-state batteries, a key challenge in the application of the technology to automotive programs. The material is compatible with multiple electrode chemistries and offers the potential to employ high-energy battery materials, which are too volatile for use with flammable electrolytes. Ultimately, the companies expect their development collaboration to yield innovative battery cells that are ready for the market early in the next decade.
“We are excited to work with A123 and feel that their scientific talent and automotive relationships will accelerate the adoption of our technology in electric vehicles globally,” said Mike Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Ionic Materials.
“We see the future moving quickly toward us and are eager to lead the adoption of solid-state technology among the world’s leading automotive OEMs,” added Patrick Hurley, chief technical officer of A123.