21 November 2023
("Gelion" or the "Company" or the "Group")
Gelion and Ionblox Joint Development Agreement Signed
Targeting Next-Generation Silicon Sulfur Cells for Global EV and Electric Aircraft Markets
Gelion (AIM: GELN), the Anglo-Australian battery innovator, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Ionblox Incorporated (Ionblox), the California based next-generation battery technology company transforming the future of mobility by land and air. The JDA aims to deliver safe, high-energy density, lower cost lithium silicon sulfur (LiSiS) cells for the global electric vehicle (EV), electrical vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) and drone markets, before progressing to the stationary energy storage market.
The EV and eVTOL industries are seeking highly competitive next-generation battery technologies to underpin the transition to net-zero emissions, illustrated by the International Energy Agency estimating approximately 300 million EVs will be required by 2030, compared with 10 million EVs in 2022. Battery powered eVOTLs, drones and stationary energy storage will additionally support the renewables revolution.
By combining its technology development with the broad IP and know-how it acquired from Johnson Matthey earlier in 2023 (the IP Portfolio), and the recently announced acquisition1 of OXLiD Ltd, a UK based lithium-sulfur innovator (the Acquisition), Gelion has accelerated to a leading position in lithium sulfur development. Gelion is developing sulfur cathodes to integrate with a variety of anodes including silicon and silicon oxide (SiOx), lithium metal and graphite.
Ionblox is a leading silicon oxide anode developer with multiple performance attributes - fast charging, high energy, high power, and long life at low cost. Ionblox's investors include Lilium, Applied Ventures, Temasek and Catalus Capital.
Gelion and Ionblox will jointly aim to develop high performance, next-generation LiSiS cells, which have the potential to deliver a number of advantages2 over traditional lithium-ion batteries:
Up to double the gravimetric energy density ~400 Wh/Kg, enabling increased range between charges in EVs, therefore reducing "range anxiety";
Lighter weight batteries reducing the cost of manufacture for an EV for key components such as suspension, braking and tyres;
Radical improvement of battery safety, due to the intrinsic reduction in thermal events achieved by the silicon-sulfur chemistry, dramatically reducing risk of fires and/or explosion;
Significant reduction of the LiSiS cell 'bill of material costs' by up to an estimated 35% thereby further reducing EV costs to better facilitate mass market take-up; and
Reduction of the carbon lifecycle of LiSiS cells by more than 30% as compared to incumbent technologies, delivering a more sustainable mass production of LiSiS batteries for EVs.
1Subject to shareholder approval, November 2023
2Internal density modelling and independent research papers
Each of Gelion and Ionblox will leverage their technology expertise, patent portfolio protection and leading R&D facilities located in Australia and the US respectively to develop the next-generation LiSiS cells.
Gelion will focus on the optimisation of the sulfur cathode by incorporating the Acquisition and leveraging the IP Portfolio.
Ionblox will provide its best in class, proven, high-energy density pre-lithiated Silicon Oxide anode and optimise it appropriately for use with Gelion's sulfur cathode.
Both organisations will jointly develop and optimise a proprietary electrolyte to enable the cycle life characteristics required for EV and electric aviation applications. Upon completion of the LiSiS cell development, Gelion and Ionblox will finalise their commercial arrangement to take the cells to the global market.
Commenting on the Announcement, John Wood, Gelion CEO said:
"The JDA with Ionblox continues to build momentum for Gelion's sulfur technologies.
"Ionblox is an extraordinary battery technology company, and we are very excited to be working with Sujeet and his team who are achieving exceptional energy densities and Coulombic efficiencies with their pre-lithiated SiOx anode batteries. Combining these energy densities and efficiencies with those being achieved in our cathode materials by implementing a solid-to-solid sulfur, quasi-solid-state approach, we anticipate achieving a breakthrough cell outcome together. Our goal is low cost, high safety, exceptional energy density, and high cycle life aiming toward electrifying all mobility, while using materials such as sulfur with the abundance to meet the demand to support the planets clean energy needs."
Sujeet Kumar, Ionblox CEO said:
"Ionblox believes in the potential of sulfur to produce higher performance, cheaper, safer batteries which provide even more value to existing partners, and unlock new applications.
"This program with Gelion will utilize our industry-leading silicon oxide anode to develop a lithium-silicon-sulfur battery.
"We look forward to working with John and his team in Australia and the UK, and together working towards a global impact."
Gelion ("gel: ion") is a global -energy storage innovator, supporting the transition to a more sustainable economy by commercialising two globally important next generation technologies: Lithium-Sulfur (LiS) and Zinc-based (Zn) hybrid cells to electrify mobile and stationary applications. Gelion plc (the Group) is listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market and wholly owns Australia based Gelion Technologies Pty Ltd. Gelion is designing and delivering innovative battery technology to enable that transition and return value for its customers and investors.
Gelion's effort is directed at the potential for the LiS chemistry to deliver double the gravimetric energy density of standard Lithium-ion chemistries whilst at the same time reducing cost and increasing safety targeting the EV and e-aviation market, helping to make global transport, energy consumption and storage more sustainable.
Gelion is developing a product for its high energy density sulfur cathode at its expanded R&D facilities in Sydney, enabling it to integrate with a variety of anodes ranging from graphite to silicon to lithium metal, depending on the targeted application.
Gelion recently also expanded in the UK1 by acquiring OXLiD Ltd, significantly increasing Gelion's capability in cathode improvement thereby accelerating path to commercial partners and commercialisation.
Gelion is adapting its zinc technology to comprise an alternate cathode technology, a zinc hybrid cell to develop complementary next-generation batteries for the lead-acid eco-system. Early testing indicates that this solution has the potential to maintain good energy density levels with enhanced cost and safety aspects. Once fully developed, Gelion intends for our zinc technology to provide a durable and sustainable market extension within the ecosystem that supports lead-acid batteries.
Founded in Fremont, California in 2017, Ionblox (previously known as Zenlabs) is a next-generation energy company transforming the future of mobility by land and air. The company has more than 40 issued patents, including for the pre-lithiation of all types of silicon-based anodes. Ionblox's proprietary pre-lithiated silicon anode and cell design enable multiple performance attributes - fast charging, high energy, high power, and long life at low cost - pushing the limits of traditional battery storage technology and unlocking the viability of widespread electric transportation.
Ionblox is leading the electric mobility revolution by delivering superior technology and enabling electric vehicle (EV) and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) companies to achieve their goals. Ionblox's investors include Lilium, Applied Ventures, Temasek and Catalus Capital.
In 2022, Ionblox received a new United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) contract to develop low-cost and fast-charge silicon-based cells for EVs. Ionblox has also received a strategic investment from Lilium, a leading eVTOL company. Ionblox extreme fast charging cell technology will enable eVTOLs to fly numerous times per day increasing the amount of time the aircraft spends in the skies.
John Wood, CEO
Amit Gupta, CFO
Thomas Maschmeyer, Founder and Principal Technology Advisor
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