The large-scale research initiative Battery 2030+ published its long-term research roadmap. The document contains the recommended actions, research themes and scientific approach to develop the sustainable batteries critical for future carbon-neutral societies.

graphic showing a battery

This roadmap, containing three large research themes and six research areas, is a new milestone in the implementation of the large-scale and long-term research initiative on future battery technologies announced in the Commission strategic action plan on batteries. It lays out those research needs and future actions that are required to invent sustainable, safe, affordable and ultra-high performance batteries. The research roadmap has been developed through a one-year European-wide consultation process. The document identifies the main research directions that can radically accelerate the development of the next generation of batteries based on a chemistry neutral approach that was at the core of the Battery 2030+ Manifesto published a year ago. The first research projects addressing the Battery 2030+ priorities are planned to start later on in 2020 with support from the Horizon 2020 programme.

As Kristina Edström, Director of the Battery 2030+ research initiative and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Uppsala University said:

Battery 2030+ is not about developing a specific battery chemistry, but rather about exploiting the power of digital technologies like artificial intelligence for transforming the discovery and development process of our future smart and connected batteries. With Battery 2030+, battery design and development are entering the digital age.

The roadmap contains three major research themes for the future:

  • Accelerated discovery of interfaces and materials: Understanding and tailoring the mechanisms that determine whether batteries will be safe and have a long lifetime is key to inventing the battery of the future. Battery 2030+ propose to build a cutting-edge Materials Acceleration Platform (MAP) and develop a Batteries Interface Genome (BIG) that will redefine how we do battery materials research today. This will be achieved by combining powerful approaches, from high-throughput synthesis and characterization as well as materials computation, automated data analysis, data mining, and artificial intelligence.
  • Integration of smart functionalities: Even the best battery will fail eventually. External factors have big impact on the performance of the batteries and researchers need to find new and more efficient ways to prevent batteries from failing. Battery 2030+ propose to develop of new sensor concepts that can discover early stages of battery cell failure and unwanted side reactions leading to early battery ageing. Combined with the development of new self-healing capability that can prevent failures or restore battery cell performance, this can make our future batteries safer, more reliable and more sustainable.
  • Manufacturability and recyclability as cross-cutting areas: Battery 2030+ propose to develop new ideas regarding the manufacturing and recycling of the batteries and nurture them from the beginning in the new battery materials’ discovery and development process.

Background

To address the battery challenges, the European Commission launched the European Battery Alliance in October 2017 with the aim of creating a competitive European battery sector with sustainable battery cells at its core. In May 2018, the Commission published a strategic action plan on batteries setting out in detail how it proposes to achieve this goal. It acknowledges the need to mobilise industrial players and support the rapid development of battery manufacturing capacities in Europe as well as the importance of research into the next generations of high-performing batteries. To address the latter, one of the key measures announced in the plan is the development of a large-scale and long-term research initiative on future battery technologies, namely the Battery 2030+ initiative. The ultimate objective of Battery 2030+ is to foster the development of a competitive battery industry in Europe that will serve the needs of future carbon-neutral societies.

The Battery 2030+ initiative was launched in March 2019 and is currently supported by a Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action (CSA). It aims at new battery technologies with ultra-high performance (both in power and in their capacity to store energy), and which are safe, easily re-chargeable, re-usable and recyclable, and have the lowest environmental impact possible. By focusing on radically new ideas and long-term approaches, it complements incremental research efforts on upcoming generations of batteries driven by the industry’s short to medium term needs. The core group consists of 17 partners, leaders in their fields, from nine European countries. The initiative is coordinated by Kristina Edström, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Uppsala University.

More info