IonQ, a developer of trapped-ion quantum computing, and Hyundai Motor Company are partnering to develop new variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) algorithms to study lithium oxides and their chemical reactions involved in battery chemistry.
A VQE is a hybrid quantum-classical algorithm that aims to find the combination of values that solve a given optimization problem (more specifically, finding the lowest eigenvalue associated with a given matrix).
Quantum-powered chemistry simulation is expected to enhance significantly the quality of next-generation lithium batteries by making improvements to the devices’ charge and discharge cycles, as well as their durability, capacity and safety.
The partnership pairs IonQ’s expertise in quantum computing and Hyundai’s expertise in lithium batteries. Together, the teams are creating the most advanced battery chemistry model yet developed on quantum computers, measured by the number of qubits and quantum gates.
IonQ and Hyundai are laying the foundation to create better quality batteries by simulating and controlling their chemical reactions more precisely. This research has the potential to lead to new types of source material that save time, cost, and effort in the years to come.
The collaboration is a crucial component of Hyundai’s Strategy 2025 goals, which include the sale of 560,000 EVs per year and the introduction of more than 12 battery electric vehicle (BEV) models to consumers.
This partnership is the latest in IonQ’s continued efforts in the field of quantum chemistry. Previously, IonQ’s computers were used to demonstrate an end-to-end pipeline for simulating large molecules, such as those present in fertilizer creation. IonQ’s quantum computers have also been used to simulate water molecules, one of the first demonstrations of the potential for quantum computing to tackle quantum chemistry applications.