Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and BASF SE will jointly develop new battery materials at KIT in the future. Today, the contract to establish the joint laboratory was signed by Professor Eberhard Umbach, President of KIT, and Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen. The BELLA (Batteries and Electrochemistry Laboratory) joint laboratory will link the electrochemical know-how in industrial application at BASF SE with the fundamental research of KIT. It is aimed at accelerating the implementation of research results in products for high-energy battery systems.
Work will focus on increasing the service life of batteries and using materials of high storage capacity. Safety of battery systems also is a central issue. Both partners will invest about EUR 12 million in the next five years for this purpose. The development of high-performance battery systems is one of the big challenges for future electromobility and integration of renewable energies.
"Foundation of the BELLA joint laboratory with BASF is a major cornerstone in the strategy of KIT in battery research and electromobility. Together with BASF, we wish to advance the development of new storage materials for the future," underlined Professor Eberhard Umbach, President of KIT.
"The Batteries and Electrochemistry Laboratory strengthens the successful cooperation of KIT and BASF," said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the board of BASF SE and Research Executive Director. "KIT will thus become a major part of the electrochemistry and batteries research network started last year."
In first joint projects, scientists are studying materials and components for future battery generations. For example, ceramic ion conductors shall be developed for use as protective layers in these batteries.
For KIT's strategic focus on battery research and electromobility BELLA plays an important role. In parallel, the Competence E project is presently being established at KIT. It coordinates all activities of KIT in the fields of electric energy storage and electric drive systems. Competence E focuses on establishing an integrated research fab. At this research fab, new high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and viable electric engines and drives will be developed.