Musashi Seimitsu Industry, a Japanese automotive manufacturing company, has announced a partnership with battery developer KeraCel to develop and bring-to-market 3D printed solid-state batteries for the automotive sector. As a strategic partner, Musashi will support the accelerated development of KeraCel’s additive manufacturing technology for solid-state batteries in order to scale it for high-volume production.
Musashi’s partnership with KeraCel is in line with the automotive manufacturer’s increased focus on developing more eco-friendly and sustainable products. As a leading provider of motorcycle and car products, the company hopes to leverage KeraCel’s unique 3D printing technology to integrate safe, solid-state batteries into its products.
Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO of Musashi Group, commented on the new partnership, saying: “We are excited to explore the technological innovation for solid state batteries together with KeraCel.”
Founded in 2016, KeraCel has invented a new type of battery that reportedly has double the energy of today’s leading lithium ion batteries at half the cost. The solid-state battery is also safer than existing batteries, with no risk of exploding or catching fire.
The company said of its battery development: “Keracel’s target energy density for its 1st generation battery is 1200Whr/lt, which is approximately twice that of today’s lithium ion batteries. Recent achievements in printing thin layers will allow achieving 1000Whr/lt energy density. Keracel expects further improvements in the layer thickness with refinements in their manufacturing process technology.”
The battery itself is produced using a novel additive manufacturing method pioneered by KeraCel, which combines ceramic-based electrolytes and lithium metal anodes to generate higher energy densities at a lower cost than litium ion cells. The 3D printing process also makes it possible to produce batteries in virtually any shape or size, making them suitable for a broad range of industries and applications.
The California-based company has piqued the interest of many, including Musashi and the Department of Energy, which awarded a grant to the startup enabling it to team up with the LLNL to optimize the production of its robust solid-state batteries.