$200M Grant to Fund EV Battery Separator Plant

DETROIT – General Motors has partnered up with Microvast, a battery manufacturing company headquartered in Texas, to develop specialized EV battery separator technology for a new separator plant in the U.S.

The company says the project will be funded by a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing initiative.

Kent Helfrich, GM chief technology officer and vice president of Research and Development, said this plan would help provide the “pioneering” technology that could be used in future Ultium Battery creation and support the company’s commitment to safety.

“This collaboration with Microvast supports our ongoing efforts to develop a North American–focused EV supply chain and put everyone in an EV,” he said.

The separator technology is used to separate anode from cathode and allow ion transferring. This could improve safety, charging and battery life, the company said.

GM said the technology will further enhance thermal stability of the EV batteries and will be compatible with almost all types of lithium-ion cells, including graphite, silicon, and lithium-metal anodes and nickel-rich, cobalt-free, lithium iron phosphate-type and high-voltage cathodes.

“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,” said Dr. Wenjuan Mattis, chief technology officer at Microvast.

The Department of Energy has also selected GM for its Battery500 Consortium, offering the company an additional $75 million for a second phase of research. The consortium is led by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory and includes a team of experts from national laboratories, academia and industry working on high quality EV battery production, said GM.

GM said it is the only auto manufacturer selected by the consortium and will be working with other members to accelerate quality battery development.

Source: General Motors

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.