Spinouts join forces on technology to accelerate electric vehicle development


Close-up photo of EV battery pack

The companies plan to use existing test data and AI to accelerate the development of EV battery packs

Electric vehicle makers could save up to 18 months development time using technology under development by Imperial spinouts About:Energy and Monolith.

The technology spinouts are partnering to develop pre-trained AI models that would allow car manufacturers to predict how their battery pack designs will perform, reducing the need for slow and costly trial and error and reducing the time it takes to bring a new model to market.

Understanding how batteries degrade over time is currently a costly and risky process that car companies handle internally by ageing thousands of batteries for over a year. The new solution under development will use battery test data from About:Energy's labs and Monolith's AI tools to predict how long a battery pack will last, allowing car companies to save time and costs by outsourcing complex degradation test plans that are traditionally completed in-house.

Battery data meets machine learning

Collaborations like this are what university innovation is all about: two great pioneering businesses working together to combine their tech, creating jobs and driving us to a low-carbon future. Dr Simon Hepworth Director of Enterprise, Imperial

“Our partnership with About:Energy allows us to build more accurate models predicting battery degradation and thermal runaway, using the most robust and reliable battery test data available to engineers,” said Dr Richard Ahlfeld, CEO and founder of Monolith.

“Whether you are an automotive OEM looking for more comprehensive data, a battery manufacturer, or an EV start-up without test facilities, our pre-trained AI models promise to help optimise your battery validation test plans, and ultimately accelerate the availability of better EVs.”

Dr Gavin White, CEO and Co-Founder of About:Energy, said: “This partnership with Monolith is a testament to our commitment to driving innovation and adding significant value to the industry and our customers. We are always seeking innovative collaborations that help tackle the industry's toughest challenges. Working with Monolith gives industry the access to the best machine-learning talent and highest quality lab data in an easy-to-use software package.”

Innovation ecosystem

The companies were both founded in the last few years to commercialise research carried out at Imperial and have gone on to receive significant investment and industry customers. Monolith was founded in 2016 based on Imperial research to help industrial designers understand the performance characteristics and manufacturability of their designs. After raising £8.5 million Series A funding in 2021 from one of the world’s largest software investors, it returned to Imperial as a research partner and counts companies such as Siemens and BMW as customers.

About:Energy is a battery technology spinout from Imperial, the University of Birmingham and the Faraday Institution, drawing on research in Imperial’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Founded in 2022, it has scaled to 14 employees and last year launched its platform The Voltt.

Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Enterprise at Imperial, said: “Collaborations like this are what university innovation is all about: two great pioneering businesses working together to combine their tech, creating jobs and driving us to a greener, low-carbon future. It makes all the careful crafting of the innovation ecosystem worthwhile, from aligning incentives through policies, to empowering founders through programmes and networks. We are re-engineering the future through our deep battery technology and advanced manufacturing expertise.”


David Silverman

David Silverman

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 8104
Email: d.silverman@imperial.ac.uk

Show all stories by this author


Entrepreneurship, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, Enterprise, Artificial-intelligence, Engineering-Mech-Eng
See more tags

Leave a comment

Your comment may be published, displaying your name as you provide it, unless you request otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.