Blackstone Resources AG (SWX: BLS) has teamed up with several strategic partners from Germany, Belgium, Poland and Austria, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. It has started to build and will finance its own research team with these partners. These include research specialists from a number of disciplines that are based at the Fraunhofer Institutes of both Offenburg and Goslar, plus the Technical Universities of Clausthal and Braunschweig in Germany.
This move forms part of Blackstone’s research and development programme in battery technology, which includes a planned EUR 200 million investment project. This project will be partially funded by Blackstone. The remainder is planned to come from the subsidy programme from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Blackstone has already participated in the application process and the results will be decided in the very near future.
This world-class team will aim to achieve a number of objectives. They will develop new production technologies for Blackstone's planned battery production facilities. This will include developing and testing new solid-state battery technologies, plus new production techniques such as 3D-printing.
Electric vehicles currently rely on lithium-ion batteries, which are largely composed of battery metals and liquid electrolytes. Incremental changes in battery formulation and engineering have resulted in gradual improvement, but in order to make a major leap forward, the underlying technology has to change. Solid-state batteries, made of solid material with a solid electrolyte, represent the next step in technological evolution.
These batteries offer faster charging, increased capacity, and slower degradation. Better still, they eliminate much of the fire risks associated with dense lithium-ion batteries.
This is why Blackstone believes that the future lies in solid-state battery technology. Companies such as Panasonic and Toyota have already formed strategic partnerships to deliver this type of technology. Tesla is also investing in solid-state battery technology to improve the performance of its vehicles.
Solid-state battery technology will have a major impact on the EV industry, which is why Blackstone Resources plans to invest heavily in this sector.
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