Canada’s Hydro-Québec is cooperating with Mercedes-Benz in the development of technologies for solid-state batteries. The aim is to test new materials under field conditions and thus accelerate battery development.
The partners will carry out joint research activities at Hydro-Québec’s Canadian competence centre for transport electrification and energy storage as well as in the laboratory of SCE France, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec. Mercedes-Benz considers solid-state batteries to be the next crucial technological leap in the field of e-mobility. “The latest advancements Hydro-Québec researchers have made are very promising, and we are looking forward to the first results of our joint development program,” said Jochen Hermann, Vice President Development eDrive at Mercedes-Benz AG. He added that the battery is a key component of electric vehicles; mastering its chemistry is, therefore, a vital issue for Mercedes-Benz research and development.
Specifically, the research object is solid-state lithium metal batteries. According to Hydro-Québec, these batteries have a very high energy density, are durable and very light. The Canadian company developed a solid-state battery back in the 1990s and is now working on improving efficiency and manufacturing methods. In addition to a lead in know-how, the company also sees itself at the forefront of development thanks to an extensive portfolio of intellectual property.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with Mercedes-Benz, an automotive company with an enviable reputation, to pursue our research even further,” said Karim Zaghib, General Manager of the Hydro-Québec competence centre involved. “Our association will allow us to test new materials quickly in field conditions, and so accelerate the development cycle and respond to the concerns of automobile manufacturers.”
Since 2018, Hydro-Québec’s existing cooperation partners include the US automotive supplier Dana Incorporated. Besides, the Canadian energy supplier Hydro-Québec also signed a license agreement with the Chinese company Dongshi Kingpower Science and Technology in 2018. Since then, the latter has been allowed to use Hydro-Quebec’s patents for solid-state lithium batteries.
And Mercedes-Benz? At the presentation of the series-produced eCitaro in July 2018, the Stuttgart-based German company announced that it intends to offer the electric city bus with solid-state batteries as an alternative from 2020.