The ZSW was established in 1988 by the State of Baden-Württemberg, the universities of Stuttgart and Ulm, and private companies. It is a non-profit foundation under the civil code. The ZSW contributes to the development of solar energy, energy conversion, and electrochemical energy storage systems – major components in the sustainable energy supply of the 21st century. It is integrated in a network of university, industrial, and institutional co-operations. The focus of research and development is currently on Lithium-ion batteries, super-capacitors, fuel cells and thin film photovoltaic. The ZSW has about 220 employees (scientists and technicians) with experience in materials science, electrochemistry, physics, electrical and mechanical engineering and technology). The battery research team at ZSW consists of more than 70 researchers covering different research areas. The ZSW has a high level of expertise in both material research for Lithium-ion batteries and system technology for batteries and fuel cells. Additionally, the ZSW has a wide base of equipment and experience in the characterisation of battery materials and components as well as in battery testing and hazard potential evaluation. ZSW has established a pilot-line for technical development of electrode coatings and cell assembling for 18650 and small stacked pouch cells, and, furthermore, runs a research-production line (FPL) for the manufacture of PHEV1 prismatic hard case cells.
By covering the whole value-chain from fundamental material development and Scale-up to the research production of large cells, safety and performance test labs, ZSW has a unique position in the battery research community.