Profs launch battery centre for EV development

Monday, April 1, 2024

An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Waterloo is launching a new battery research centre that will play a crucial role in developing the electric vehicles of tomorrow.

The Ontario Battery and Electrochemistry Research Centre (OBEC), led by Dr. Linda Nazar from the Faculty of Science and Dr. Michael Pope from the Faculty of Engineering, will be Canada’s newest facility tasked with advancing next-generation electric vehicle battery development.

“While there is an urgent need to train people to work on the next-generation EV battery gigafactories being built here in Canada by the likes of Volkswagen, Stellantis, Umicore and BASF, it is equally important to develop these next generation technologies and help local industry meet growing market demand,” said Pope, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and director of Waterloo’s 2D Materials and Elecectrochemical Devices Lab.

“These batteries, however, will be more sustainable, less expensive, safer and longer-lasting that the Li-ion batteries we see today.”

OBEC’s initial funding is sourced from a $5 million investment earmarked to tackle national and global challenges made by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Waterloo. It will also host other Ontario-based battery and electrochemical researchers to collaborate across various supply chain needs such as battery materials production, recycling, and advanced manufacturing.

The OBEC will also help train Waterloo’s undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows to advance their expertise in electrochemistry. 

“Given Waterloo’s proud achievements in graduate performance, the centre has the potential to launch highly entrepreneurial young researchers and R&D specialists,” said Pope.

Go to Waterloo launches new centre for electric vehicle battery research for the full story.