Volkswagen Group and Xanadu, a Canadian quantum technology company, announced the establishment of a multiyear research program to improve quantum algorithms’ performance for battery materials simulation, per the press release from Volkswagen.
Battery Materials Simulation
An accurate and efficient battery materials simulation is a broad challenge that could benefit from a fault-tolerant quantum computer’s arrival. The classical method of density-functional theory has been the foundation of computational chemistry for decades. However, despite its many successes, it reaches research limitations on areas crucial to build improved batteries.
New Volkswagen Auto Strategy, Collaboration with Xanadu
“With its NEW AUTO strategy, Volkswagen enters new territory, especially when it comes to exploring opportunities along the battery value chain. Next-generation high performance materials and electrochemical processes are key ingredients of this expedition.” Head of Volkswagen Group Innovation Dr. Nikolai Ardrey said.
“Working together with cutting-edge companies like Xanadu is like hopping on a speed boat heading at the next big thing: Quantum Computing might trigger a revolution in material science and optimization, key competences to grow our inhouse battery expertise.”
The two companies have engaged in multi-domain research across battery technologies, computational science, material science, and quantum algorithms, which set the basis of the program’s long-term research efforts.
The program aims to handle the industry challenges in battery research by focusing on the advanced quantum algorithms developments for battery materials simulation. It will be processed on Xanadu’s next-generation fault-tolerant quantum computers.
The program’s first research article, which was published in September 2022, highlighted the first estimation of resources needed for quantum algorithm implementation for a realistic cathode material, dilithium iron silicate simulation.
Xanadu and Quantum Simulation
Xanadu’s Head of Algorithms, Juan Miguel Arrazola, says, “At Xanadu, we are pushing the frontiers of quantum computing hardware, software, and algorithms. Our goal in quantum algorithms research is to make quantum computers truly useful. Focusing on batteries is a strategic choice given the demand from industry and the prospects for quantum computing to aid in understanding the complex chemistry inside a battery cell,”
“We are thrilled to be working alongside the fantastic team at Volkswagen to perform cutting-edge research focused on overcoming the technical obstacles in quantum algorithms that will be necessary to unlock the potential of quantum computing for battery development.”
In addition, the program will also look into additional computational problems in materials discovery, where quantum computing has the largest prospects for massive impact, the press release says.
The partnership supports VW’s larger goal of becoming a data and software-driver provider of sustainable mobility and the company’s ambition to be the leader in both quantum development and computing applications.
“Our partnership with Xanadu is a great example of Volkswagen’s commitment to leveraging innovative technologies like quantum computing to accelerate towards 100% electric mobility solutions, optimizing our processes wherever possible,” Dr. Arne-Christian Voigt, Future Research, Volkswagen AG. stated.
“We are excited to push the boundaries of material simulation and build on top of the foundational research we have done so far with Xanadu’s quantum algorithms team.”
Volkswagen AG and the Government of Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding for promoting e-mobility in the country. Both parties agreed to look for opportunities for the country to contribute to Volkswagen’s battery supply chains.
The Canadian government invests and continues to invest in quantum technologies. That investment brought great talent to the country, raised the quantum ecosystem, and shaped Canada into a leader in the quantum technology space.