Aussie researchers help advance Malaysian EV manufacturing

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers in Malaysia could be set to benefit from a new project led by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers.

The South-East Asian country already has a burgeoning automotive industry, but a three-year AU$4 million initiative with QUT experts could make the country's sustainable car sector a regional leader. 

Scientists will be working on ways to develop lithium ion batteries with a longer life, which may attract more consumers to EVs and help Malaysia reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

The QUT will collaborate with Australia's AutoCRC and the Malaysia Automotive Institute on the project. Professor Peter Talbot from the university's Institute for Future Environments will be leading the research program.

"The technology and production processes for EVs must keep improving so that their driving range keeps increasing and their prices keep falling," he stated.

"The most important – and most expensive – piece of the puzzle is the battery. The greater the energy density of the battery in an electric vehicle, the further it can travel before it needs recharging."

According to Professor Talbot, his team will examine the best lithium-based powders to use in EV batteries, as well as streamline production processes to ensure new manufacturing procedures are easy for companies to implement.

He said the scope of the project is to refine processes across a number of production scales, including in the lab, for pilot schemes and commercial release.

"We will use techniques and methods that any manufacturing company can use. We intend to make the transfer of technology to the automotive industry as efficient as possible," he added.

QUT expects to have explored a range of advanced materials and processes for automotive manufacturers to begin using by June 2017.

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