TNO at Holst Centre launches 3D battery spinoff LionVolt

Energy storage
Future electronics
3 March 2021

TNO is spinning off its 3D battery activities from Holst Centre under the name of LionVolt BV. LionVolt will now accelerate the development of a revolutionary solid-state battery based on the 3D technology created by TNO at Holst Centre over the past five years of R&D. This has resulted in a proof of concept (PoC) and LionVolt is in the process of finalizing its seed funding to help execute accelerated development of 3D-batteries.

Dr. Ton van Mol, managing director of TNO at Holst Centre: “With the launch of LionVolt we aim to make a positive sustainable impact on the future of batteries by offering unique performance in multiple areas. Because of the electrification of the automotive industry and growth of wireless electronics it is of strategic importance that Europe and the Netherlands have access to their own battery manufacturing technology and become less dependent on Asian players. Through the launch of LionVolt we will contribute to the strength of the European battery ecosystem and to the positioning of the Netherlands as a major player in the battery cell manufacturers landscape.”

3D solid-state batteries

The new battery type that LionVolt will be developing is based on 3D technology and solid-state layers. Compared with currently used lithium batteries, these ‘3D Solid-State Thin-Film’ batteries are lighter and safer. They recharge rapidly, have a higher energy density, are intrinsically safe and have a long product lifespan.

The batteries are made by covering billions of pillars with thin layers of functional material, creating a 3D structure with a very large surface area and very short distances between both battery electrodes. The lithium-ions only have to travel a short distance, reducing charging and discharging times.

LionVolt’s PoC of a fully solid-state 3D thin-film battery has been demonstrated in December 2020 which showed that it’s feasible to produce 3D batteries at a large scale. In the coming years LionVolt plans to further develop this into a 3D solid state battery that is ready for market.

Dr. Sandeep Unnikrishnan, CTO of LionVolt, is thrilled with the launch of LionVolt and the prospect of the 3D batteries: “The battery industry will multiply fivefold to an over 137 billion dollar industry by 2025. This is mainly driven by applications such as electric vehicles. With our novel 3D batteries we offer higher performance, in safer batteries at competitive costs. In terms of energy density alone, LionVolt will ensure batteries that are at least 3 times better than what is available today.“

Beneficial for the Netherlands

The first applications will be in smart technology products worn around our bodies, known as wearables, in which lithium batteries are still the main option. LionVolt will offer advantages in battery design and performance, while being solid-state means intrinsically safer. In the longer term, larger 3D solid-state batteries will be developed for the automotive and other markets, with future factories in the Netherlands creating significant economic activity and employment.

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