GM Ventures, the venture capital arm of General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced a strategic investment in energy storage and advanced materials company, Nanoramic, to help enhance the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of EV batteries.
The collaboration between the two parties aims to jointly develop and utilize Nanoramic’s exclusive Core electrode technology, Neocarbonix, for lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
Nanoramic has developed Neocarbonix at the Core, an electrode technology platform for cathode and anode. It is specifically designed to be manufactured at high throughput and without the use of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solvent. This enables the production of batteries with a lower cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and excellent performance.
Neocarbonix achieves this by replacing traditional binder systems with a 3D nanocarbon mesh. This eliminates the need for polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) binders from the cathode and eliminates the requirement for NMP solvent in the manufacturing process.
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Nanoramic tech uses low-cost materials to enable long-cycle-life anodes
When applied to anode, Neocarbonix facilitates the use of low-cost active materials to enable long-cycle-life silicon anodes. This innovation has the potential to significantly reduce the cost and increase the performance of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The elimination of NMP solvent in the manufacturing process also has the added benefit of reducing the environmental impact of battery production.
“Nanoramic’s Neocarbonix at the Core technology is uniquely positioned to support lower cost in batteries, a key to continuing EV growth. This technology is an innovative and practical solution to commercialize batteries with strong performance, better environmental friendliness, and vitally – lower cost,” said Eric Kish, CEO of Nanoramic.
GM is on a mission to achieve 1 million units of annual EV capacity in North America by 2025, indicating a rapid escalation in production. Despite this, the company has not compromised its commitment to sustainability. In fact, GM’s goal is to attain carbon neutrality for its global products and operations by 2040.
Neocarbonix offers a high-throughput electrode manufacturing process that is NMP-free, enabling production on traditional equipment. This innovation reduces the manufacturing footprint and capital expenditures required for conventional lithium-ion production lines.
Furthermore, this technology is 25 per cent more environmentally friendly, making it a leading sustainable option. A key challenge facing the battery industry is finding a way to use affordable silicon materials without sacrificing cycle life.
Neocarbonix is uniquely designed to unlock the full potential of off-the-shelf silicon materials, providing a practical solution for long-lasting and high-performance silicon anodes. As a chemistry agnostic platform, Neocarbonix is compatible with any cathode and anode material and is applicable to conventional lithium-ion, solid-state, and future battery technologies.
General Motors shares dipped 2.1 per cent to trade at $34.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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