Lithium Australia Subsidiary Awarded Federal Battery Development Grant

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) 100 per cent-owned subsidiary VSPC is to participate in a federal government Co-operative Research Centres Projects (‘CRC-P’) program.

VSPC– together with CSIRO, University of Queensland (UQ) and Soluna – will receive a grant totalling $1.6 million for its participation in a $5 million CRC-P program to develop fast-charge lithium-ion batteries for use in new-generation trams.

Battery-powered trams eliminate the need for overhead power lines, which are expensive, visually polluting and potentially hazardous.

CSIRO has expertise in the design of Li-ion batteries as well as experience and intellectual property relating to fast-charge batteries for application in trams and other forms of transport, such as e-buses, ferries and military applications.

VSPC will partner with battery researchers at CSIRO’s Clayton site in Victoria to design, manufacture and test fast-charge Li-ion battery prototypes.

The UQ team at the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology – led by Professor Lianzhou Wang from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology – has extensive capabilities with respect to the analysis of advanced materials.

VSPC will work with the UQ team on both the characterisation and optimisation of VSPC’s battery materials.

Soluna, meanwhile, will advise on manufacturing and also lead commercialisation of the fast-charge battery products developed.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to combine VSPC’s battery-materials technology with some of the world’s leading research,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The aim is to deliver an Australian product that puts this country at the forefront of battery development … and there’s more to it than trams; successful application of what is currently at our fingertips will lead to myriad other fast-charge applications, many of them not yet thought of.”