Ford is Using Quantum Computing to Research its Own EV Battery Tech

Ford is Using Quantum Computing to Research its Own EV Battery Tech

Ford has been working with Quantinuum, a quantum computing research company, to investigate if the technology can be used in the development of lithium-ion batteries.

The research was treated as a case study by Quantiuum for its InQuanto technology, which debuted its second version this week. InQuanto 2.0 “continues to be built around the latest quantum algorithms, advanced subroutines, and chemistry-specific noise-mitigation techniques,” according to the announcement post.

“In the new version, we have added new features to enhance efficiency, such as new protocol classes that can speed up vector calculations by an order of magnitude, and integral operator classes that exploit symmetries and can reduce memory requirements.”

This makes it more valuable for a company like Ford to pick up on, especially with the company now developing electric vehicles. Previously, Ford has looked to Tesla to revitalise its approach to manufacturing and has built an SUV, van and large ute (though none of them are available in Australia), but this new approach to battery research could reduce inefficiencies and boost performance in the battery tech.

Not to mention that battery research is booming at the moment, from combustion to lifespan improvements. It totally makes sense that Ford would want to get ahead on the R&D front.

Ford has been using Quantinuum tech since 2021 and was a partner of the company when it launched in May 2022, but recently, Ford has been using Quantinuum’s quantum chemistry platform to see how different compositions react to each other and potentially enhance battery systems.

The technology allows for accurate experiment simulations using a variety of relevant chemicals, in scenarios that might be time-consuming or expensive to create physically.

As the paper outlines, the technology’s practicality has been more than proven, and as Ford looks to scale up electric vehicle and battery production, it’ll take tech like this to beat the competition.

“Computational chemistry can provide insights about the charge/discharge mechanisms, electrochemical and thermal stability, structural phase transition, and surface behaviour,” Ford researchers Marwa Fara and Joydip Ghosh said.

“It plays a vital role to find potential materials that can enhance the battery performance and robustness.”

This case study will influence further developments for Quantinuum’s tech, including scaling up the qubit count and quality, developing noise mitigation and error correction methods, and creating a flexible toolkit for developers.

You can read about Ford and Quantinuum’s research online.

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