Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co and KeraCel have partnered up to develop 3D printed solid-state batteries for Musashi’s motorcycles. Musashi is a Japanese Tier1 auto parts manufacturer and KeraCel is a California-based 2016 startup committed to 3D printing next-generation solid-state batteries, so investment cash will flow from Musashi to KeraCel as part of the partnership.
The benefits of solid-state batteries over traditional lithium-ion batteries are numerous, the most obvious of which is that the volatile liquid electrolytes are replaced with a solid, making them much less prone to catch on fire or explode. Their energy density is also two to three times higher and they can be made to fit custom shapes, which is especially important for motorcycles that have limited space and need to be aerodynamic. Perhaps most importantly, their solid-state batteries cost half as much to produce by using a proprietary ceramic 3D printing process.
“We are excited to explore the technological innovation for solid-state batteries together with KeraCel,” said Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO of Musashi Group. Robert Bagheri, KeraCel’s CEO agreed: “Partnering with Musashi enables KeraCel to develop safe, high energy batteries for the automotive market.”
3D printing and motorcycles are perfect for each other. Motorcycles need light, custom-shaped parts and 3D printers excel at producing such parts. It’s no wonder that BigRep printed an entire electric motorcycle last year with embedded electronics and airless tires. The Musashi-KeraCel partnership means another major component can be 3D printed. It won’t be long before the motors can also be 3D printed and motorcycles will roll out of 3D printers fully operational.