A key issue with electric car technology is how easy the cars are to live with; until electric cars match or approach the convenience and speed with which traditional internal combustion engine vehicles can be refuelled, it is difficult to see how electric vehicles can become truly ubiquitous. Two overlapping areas in which advances in electric vehicle technology can help to address this issue are improved battery technology and improved charger technology.
Ford are working on the next generation of batteries with investments in all solid state batteries (ASSB), which promise improvements in stored energy (and hence driving range) and safety relative to existing lithium ion designs. Other manufacturers are focussing on the speed with which batteries can be charged; the “Supercharge” points compatible with Tesla vehicles are becoming an increasingly common sight at motorway service stations, and an industry consortium including BMW and Porsche have recently unveiled a next generation charging system, claiming a charge sufficient for 100km of driving can be delivered in less than three minutes.
Ilika plc (LON:IKA) is a pioneer in materials innovation and has been inventing new materials for energy and electronics applications for over a decade. Global brands such as Rolls Royce and Toyota have long term collaborations with Ilika’s development teams.