science 4.7.2017 18:26

Chemistry Institute signs two new contracts with Honda

Ljubljana, 4 July - The Chemistry Institute signed two new contracts with the Japanese automotive giant Honda in June, the institute said on Tuesday. Thus they will continue their long-term cooperation in development of magnesium-based batteries for a new generation of electric cars.

The magnesium-based batteries are an alternative to the lithium-sulphur batteries, which are being developed by seven academic institutes in cooperation with the companies Renault, Volvo, SAFT and Solvionic as part of a EUR 4m EU-funded project.

However, the problem with lithium is that it is difficult to access and is unequally distributed around the world, Robert Dominko of the Chemistry Institute recently told the STA, noting that there was no such problems with magnesium.

The institute and Honda have been cooperating to find the best possible combination of materials for magnesium-based batteries since 2013.

Now, the institute will continue the research with a strong financial support from Honda's German branch.

In line with the new contracts, the institute will in the next couple of years develop a prototype of the magnesium battery which Honda believes could be used in practice, and work on a new sustainable magnesium-based battery concept that could pave the way for commercial use.

Honda is reportedly also thinking of further deepening its cooperation with the institute.