Grupo Antolin has been working with the Spanish Imdea Materials and Imdea Energy Institutes on the development of flexible lithium-ion batteries for integration into the interior components of vehicles with the objective of developing batteries that are flexible, safer and lighter than existing offerings.
The teams have worked together for several years researching new materials and component fabrication methods, and the assembly of thin batteries and their electrochemical characterization. As a result of this research, they claim to have produced large-area batteries which combine excellent energy storage, high safety and impressive mechanical properties, which enable shaping of the battery into different car interior components, such as a roof, trunk or flooring. Key to achieving this, says Grupo Antolin, is the fact that the batteries use a solid electrolyte rather than liquid. Furthermore, metallic current collectors were substituted by fabrics woven from carbon nanotube fibers, which are thinner, more flexible, and cost-effective.
With development ongoing, initial results are promising, Grupo Antolin says. The mechanical properties of the electrodes are superior to those of commercial lithium-ion batteries and the batteries can be formed in shapes using processing conditions already commonplace in manufacturing.