CIC energiGUNE will lead two of the approved projects linked to the development of safer batteries for electric vehicles and large-scale storage.

thermal energy storage, has secured funding for four projects submitted within the 2019 call of the European Commission´s Horizon 2020 programme under the "New Generation of Batteries" section. The four projects, two of which will be led directly by CIC energiGUNE, have a combined budget for the research centre of 3,250,000 euros.

With the approval of these four projects, CIC energiGUNE has become the scientific institution in Spain awarded the most funds within the current call for the H2020 battery programme. In fact, of the 11 proposals submitted, 4 have been approved and another 3 passed the initial cut, thereby achieving a success rate of 36%. This figure is much higher than the average success rate per organisation in Europe, which stands at 10%.

Furthermore, two of the approved projects will be led directly by CIC energiGUNE and will involve other players from the BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance), such as IKERLAN and CIDETEC, as well as Basque companies such as Gamesa and leading international companies such as Toyota, Renault and Varta. Mention must be made of the fact that, of the 11 Spanish proposals approved, the BRTA, of which CIC energiGUNE is a member, is involved in 7 of them, and will lead 3 of them (2 of them by CIC energiGUNE). This further highlights the potential of the Basque ecosystem in the field of energy storage.

The Spanish state as a whole has been awarded 12.42 million euros in funds in this call, equivalent to 12.57% of the 113.27 million euros to be awarded by the European Commission. Thus, with 11 projects eligible for funds, Spain is the third most successful country in the call, behind Germany and France. These positive results on a national level are further consolidated by the involvement of BRTA research centres, with CIC energiGUNE being the only organisation to lead two of the six projects coordinated on a national level.

Horizon2020

The CIC energiGUNE projects approved by the European Commission focus on two of the main challenges facing European industry in its quest for new technologies that will ultimately help deliver the battery for the electric vehicle of the future. On the one hand, the development of solid state batteries that provide greater safety in the automotive industry, the challenge of eliminating cobalt in batteries, and on the other hand, work with redox-flow batteries that enable large-scale storage. In the latter case, CIC energiGUNE will work on identifying alternative and less polluting electrolytes than the current vanadium-based ones.

CIC energiGUNE projects

The four approved projects are HIGREEW, SAFELIMOVE, 3beLiEVe and COFBAT. The first two of these are led by CIC energiGUNE. The key features of each of these projects are outlined below.

HIGREEW: Project objective: to develop an energy storage technology based on flow batteries which is sustainable, safe and low-cost, and which will enable a cost of €0.05/kWh/cycle in 2030 to be obtained and coupled with renewable energies.

Duration: 40 months.

Total budget: 3.7 million euros. CIC energiGUNE budget: 728,000 euros.

Project coordinated by CIC energiGUNE

SAFELIMOVE: Project objective: to develop a lithium metal battery with solid electrolyte for the electric vehicle, as solid-state batteries will make the electric vehicle safer in the future. This line of research is led by Michel Armand, a renowned pioneer in the field.

Duration: 48 months.

Total budget: 7.8 million euros. CIC energiGUNE budget: 975,000 euros.

Project coordinated by CIC energiGUNE

3beLiEVe: The project will develop battery packs and high voltage cells for light electric vehicles that will contribute to the development of the European automotive industry.

Duration: 42 months.

Total budget: 10.8 million euros. CIC energiGUNE budget: 888,000 euros.

COFBAT: An initiative to develop high performance cobalt-free batteries for stationary applications.

Duration: 48 months.

Total budget: 7.9 million euros. CIC energiGUNE budget: 658,000 euros.