3D-printed solid-state EV battery maker Sakuu signs up Porsche to build its Gigafactories
One of the more innovative companies in the 3D-printing space - Sakuu (former KeraCel) - has managed to sign up a Porsche subsidiary to design its future Gigafactories for lithium-metal and solid-state electric vehicle batteries. Porsche Consulting has experience in formulating the designs of automotive production facilities and recently turned its focus to battery Gigafactories that can churn out cells in the GWh capacity range. The effort "focuses on modern battery technologies, efficient production processes, and the right sites and scaling for sustainable production," tips Porsche.
Sakuu has developed a strategy to hit 200 GWh in EV battery production capacity by 2030, the year most legacy vehicle manufacturers have pegged as an arbitrary deadline for a complete shift to electric vehicle manufacturing. The company plans to start with a factory design for making its lithium-metal batteries with increased energy density in a more traditional roll-to-roll manner and then expand to a mass manufacturing process for 3D-printing solid-state batteries with its innovative Swift Print method.
The internally developed Kavian platform uses "advanced multi-material additive manufacturing" in order to circumvent the biggest challenge before commercial solid-state battery production, the precision layering of the electrode and electrolyte sheets at a nanoscale level with tightly controlled interference. The solid-state electrolyte concept used has been developed at Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, while the Kavian 3D-printing platform is based on MIT research into the binder-jet application methodology.
With its safer and longer lasting solid-state cell designs Sakuu plans to reach double the energy density of current EV batteries - about 800 Wh/l - in the same footprint. At the same time, they will allow ultrafast charging as well as eventually achieve "dramatic savings in material use, production, supply chain, and labor" via Sakuu's Swift Print method.