Australia-based Talga Resources and its UK subsidiary Talga Technologies recently announced collaboration agreements to commence three UK Government Faraday Challenge battery programs. The execution of formal agreements follows the awarding of the grants under Faraday, a £246 million UK Government commitment over the next four years into battery development for automotive electrification. The initiative will encompass cell manufacture, modules, battery pack design/assembly and vehicle applications, and follows an undertaking by the UK Government to place a ban on new petrol and diesel engines by 2040.
Talga’s participation in the funding program of Innovate UK, the government development body, follows successful tests by Talga of its natural carbon materials and technologies in Li-ion batteries. Talga, together with its consortia partners, secured significant funding support under the ‘Innovation’ aspect of Faraday. Talga will receive a 70% rebate against its eligible costs, including salaries, consumables, equipment and contractor expenses. Talga’s participation in the programs range from 12-24 months and development activities will be led from Talga Technologies Limited in Cambridge UK, utilizing the Company's Swedish high grade graphite and functionalized graphene processed at Talga’s test facility in Germany.
The funding will support the following three projects:
- Sodium-ion batteries for automotive power applications, a project that aims to replace current 12 volt lead-acid batteries with more sustainable sodium-ion technology, enabling lighter batteries with less emission and environmental impacts of both battery manufacture and recycling. The sodium-ion technology can potentially be extended to Li-ion batteries where it could also drastically lower cost per unit of energy storage. Under this project, Talga will develop and supply the battery anode materials, and is partnered with auto company Jaguar Land Rover, sodium cell developer Faradion, materials company Croda and university technology arm Warwick Manufacturing Group. The program builds on world
- Safe High Voltage EV battery materials (“Safevolt”): This Talga-led project includes Johnson Matthey, one of the UK’s largest battery materials companies and global scale cathode manufacturer, along with leading UK institution Cambridge University and manufacturing research group TWI. The collaboration aims to achieve a significant increase in the driving range of EV’s, solving a variety of issues that are impediments to mass electrification of transport. This will be achieved by improving the energy density, weight and cost of Li-ion battery cells that operate at higher voltage, which will also require better thermal materials to improve safety. Under Safevolt, Talga and TWI will develop and supply graphene-silicon hybrid and graphene-metal alloy anode materials to match high voltage cathode materials developed by Johnson Matthey.
- Supply Chain Accelerator for Li-ion electrode materials in the UK (“Scale Up”): This Talga-led project includes advanced materials manufacturer PV3 and leading battery R&D institution WMG partnering with Talga to form a battery manufacturing supply chain in the UK. By developing new high performance battery materials and cell production technologies, the costs of electric vehicles may be decreased, with the effect of increasing UK competitiveness in EV markets and ultimately lowering emissions. Under Scale Up, PV3 and Talga will develop economic and cost effective manufacturing processes for high energy density cathode (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) and anode materials (graphitic carbon) respectively, in conjunction with manufacturing technology supplied by WMG.