General Motors and battery manufacturer Microvast will work together to develop specialized EV battery separator technology and build a new separator plant in the U.S. GM plans to fund the project with a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing initiative.
Separators are safety-critical EV battery components that serve to separate the anode from the cathode, allowing for ion transfer. The companies will work together to develop new separator technology that GM says will improve EV safety, charging and battery life. GM says it designed this technology to enhance the thermal stability of EV batteries and work with nearly all types of lithium-ion cells, including graphite, silicon, and lithium-metal anodes and nickel-rich, cobalt-free, lithium iron phosphate-type and high-voltage cathodes.
In addition, the Department of Energy selected GM for its Battery500 Consortium, awarding it $75 million for a second phase of research. Led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the consortium is a team of battery experts from national laboratories, academia and industry working to develop more reliable, affordable, longer range and higher-performance EV batteries, according to the company.