General Motors and Microvast to co-develop specialized EV battery separator

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Working in collaboration, General Motors (GM) and battery manufacturer Microvast will develop specialized EV battery separator technology in addition to constructing a new USA-based separator plant. The duo’s work will be supported by a U$200m grant awarded by the US Department of Energy’s Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing initiative.

 To ensure a high level of safety for EV battery components, separators split the anode from the cathode, enabling ion transfer. During its collaboration with Microvast, GM will provide its own separator and coating technology. The pair aims to develop a new separator technology which is capable of increasing overall EV safety in addition to improving the charging and life of EV batteries.

The advanced technology is designed to enhance thermal stability of EV batteries and is compatible with nearly all types of lithium-ion cells. This includes graphite, silicon and lithium-metal anodes and nickel-rich, cobalt-free, lithium iron phosphate-type and high-voltage cathodes.

“This collaboration with Microvast supports our ongoing efforts to develop a North American-focused EV supply chain and help put everyone in an EV,” said Kent Helfrich, chief technology officer and vice president of research and development, GM. “It will also provide us with pioneering separator technology that can be used in future Ultium batteries, and most importantly, supports our continuing commitment to safety.”

“We expect the safety advantages of our innovative, highly thermally stable polyaramid separators to transform high-energy lithium-ion battery development and drive significant value for the industry,” added Dr Wenjuan Mattis, chief technology officer, Microvast.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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