NEMA releases summary report on Advanced Batteries Café; focus on plug-in vehicles and stationary storage
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has released a report by Energetics Inc. on the Advanced Batteries Café, hosted in cooperation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on 1 September 2010, in Rosemont, Illinois. The focus of the meeting was on plug-in vehicle batteries (plug-in hybrids [PHEVs] and battery-electric vehicles [BEVs]) and batteries for large and small stationary energy storage applications.
Discussion at this café was focused on identifying issues having a positive or negative impact on creation and maintenance of a market-driven US battery industry. Participants explored a vision for the future, broad drivers and issues (political, societal, economic, other), and technical barriers and challenges, including measurement.
A robust US battery industry will require the US to have a solid manufacturing base that can readily accept innovations in process and technology from our universities, small companies, and national laboratories, converting them into a sustainable competitive advantage domestically and globally. While the US is an emerging player in electric vehicle battery manufacturing—thanks to a major infusion of federal financial support under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—we are a longway from that ideal.—Summary Report
The one-day invitational café, facilitated by Energetics, brought together experts from the battery industry, academia, national laboratories, and government agencies. For much of the discussion, café participants were grouped by topic: (1) vehicular batteries (BEVs and PHEVs), or (2) stationary batteries for energy storage applications. Following each round of small group discussion, café participants reconvened as a whole to compare notes and raise additional questions.
Gasoline prices would need to be about $6/gallon before EVs are cost competitive. Currently, EVs are a luxury item purchased by people who have well-established driving patterns. We need to develop an infrastructure to help overcome the “activation barrier” to wider use. A competitive price is the key, with safety, reliability, and convenience also major issues. Among the topics to consider: battery ownership, charging costs, and charging convenience.—Summary Report
Café attendees explored issues facing an industry with many activities taking place concurrently in a wide open market that lacks a central focus. Common concerns included the areas of battery safety, quality assurance, logistics and supply chains, warranty issues, and lack of a cohesive industry voice. Industry participants expressed that collaborative marketing and business development strategies solutions might be developed in cooperation.
Additionally, a collaborative third-party testing solution might help to foster the emergent and dynamic advanced battery industry.
In addressing the need for standards to support testing, the report cautions that standards implemented too soon could falsely constrain further development and/or start the industry down the wrong path.
The Advanced Batteries Café was a collaborative effort of NIST and NEMA under NIST’s External Needs Assessment workshop series, which provides opportunities for customers and stakeholders to lay out external drivers and/or opportunities for specific technology focus areas, and NEMA’s Energy Storage Council (ESC), which was established in 2008 to advocate for policies, necessary standards, and funding to ensure market adoption and swift commercialization of advanced applications of energy storage technologies to be safely and effectively integrated with the electrical grid.
The results of the café will be used to outline actions that need to be taken, in the short and long term, to enable a viable US battery industry. NEMA plans to use the Energetics report as a call to action for advanced battery performance, for safety and testing standards, and to request additional legislation in support of the advanced battery industry.
NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers.
Advanced Batteries Café Summary Report