Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick (UK) have developed a method to assess the maximum current for commercial 18650 Li-ion batteries, using novel instrumentation methods enabling in operando measurements. In an open-access paper in the journal Electrochimica Acta, they reported that the maximum charging current that could be... Read more →

President’s 2019 budget request cuts DOE Energy programs 43%; EERE, 65%; kills Loans program and ARPA-E

President Trump unveiled his FY 2019 budget request, including $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE)—a more than 3% decrease from the 2017 enacted level. The bulk of DOE funding would flow to the National Nuclear Security Administration ($15.1 billion, +$2.2 billion over FY 2017 Enacted) and Environmental Management... Read more →

Researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology, with colleagues from the Beijing University of Technology and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, have synthesized tin chalcogenide (SnSe0.5S0.5) nanoplates for use as Li-ion anodes. In a paper published in the Journal of Power Sources, they reported that the as-prepared of SnSe0.5S0.5 exhibits... Read more →

Analysts at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) have reviewed recent research into the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The ICCT analysis is in the overall context of life-cycle emissions of electric cars as compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles in Europe.... Read more →

Researchers discover new efficient lithium collection method using MOF membranes; Li from produced water

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, Monash University (Australia) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia have recently discovered a new, efficient way to extract lithium and other metals and minerals from water. They published their findings in an open-access paper in Science Advances.... Read more →

In its new ten-year market outlook to 2027, Roskill, a leading provider of international metals and minerals research, forecasts primary nickel consumption to rise by just under 4% per year between 2017 and 2027, driven by increased consumption by stainless steel producers and by growth in demand in the automotive... Read more →

Ionic Materials has secured $65 million in a Series C financing round from a leading group of financial and strategic investors. The investors include companies from the battery manufacturing, consumer electronic and electric vehicle ecosystem which will be working with the company to speed the development of its solid polymer... Read more →

UK’s Faraday Institution awarding $58M to four battery research consortia to accelerate EV adoption

The UK’s Faraday Institution recently announced up to £42 million (US$58 million) in new government funding to four UK-based consortia to conduct application-inspired research aimed at overcoming battery challenges to accelerate the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent national battery research institute, and was established... Read more →

ION Energy acquires battery management company Freemens SAS

Start-up ION Energy, a company building high-performance energy storage systems and electric vehicle infrastructure, has acquired the French battery management company, Freemens SAS. As part of the cash-plus-equity transaction, the entire Freemens engineering and sales team willÚ join the core team of ION. Freemens will continue working with their current... Read more →

Skeleton Technologies appoints former GM Technical Fellow Dr. Scott Jorgensen as a Board advisor; curved graphene ultracaps

Dr. Scott Jorgensen, a former General Motors Technical Fellow and principle at Hyrax Intercontinental LLC, recently joined Skeleton Technologies as an advisor to the Board to support the company in gaining market share for curved graphene ultracapacitors in the hybrid and electric vehicle market. In a 2010 paper published in... Read more →

Researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) at the University of Maryland (UMD), led by ChBE Professor Chunsheng Wang, have recently created a battery chemistry that successfully suppressed dendrite formation in Li-metal batteries by increasing the LiFSI (Lithium bis[fluorosulfonyl]imide) salt concentration in the electrolyte to ~10 M.... Read more →

PNNL, UW create materials research initiative

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Washington have created the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology (NW IMPACT)—a joint research endeavor to power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields. The institute builds... Read more →

Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and Toyota Motor Corporation have agreed to start a verification project that entails construction of a large-capacity storage battery system that reuses electrified vehicle batteries, as well as examination of the recycling of used batteries. The two companies aim to reuse batteries collected from electrified... Read more →

Sion Power will begin production of its patented Licerion rechargeable lithium metal battery in late 2018 from its Tucson facility. The Licerion rechargeable lithium metal technology will offer the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and electric vehicle (EV) markets 500 Wh/kg, 1,000 Wh/L, and 450 cycles when released. Licerion technology, a... Read more →

Cummins Inc. has acquired Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business, a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey that specializes in high-voltage automotive grade battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. As part of the acquisition, Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials... Read more →

Boeing HorizonX invests in lithium-metal rechargeable battery startup Cuberg

Boeing has invested in Berkeley, Calif.-based Cuberg, Inc., a startup founded by former Stanford University researchers developing next-generation battery technology for potential aerospace and industrial applications. Cuberg developed an advanced lithium metal rechargeable battery cell that is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes. It... Read more →

Researchers at WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), The University of Warwick (UK) have developed Silicon-Few Layer Graphene (Si-FLG) composite electrodes as an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. The reinforcement of the silicon anode structure with graphene girders results in significant improvement in terms of cyclability,... Read more →

Argonne researchers develop ReCell model to gauge impact of recycling batteries from EVs

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a novel model that allows industry, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and others to gauge the impact of recycling batteries in electric vehicles. From cathodes to anodes and electrolytes, Argonne’s understanding of batteries, combined with ReCell, a closed-loop battery recycling model, offers... Read more →

Engineers at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles have developed an energy-efficient approach to regenerate Li-ion battery cathode materials (using LiCoO2 as a model material) by hydrothermal treatment of cycled electrode particles followed by short annealing. Unlike the conventional chemical leaching or solid-state... Read more →

Scania and European Gigafactory developer Northvolt partner for heavy vehicle electrification

Scania, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and Northvolt, a 2016 startup building a European Gigafactory (planned 32 GWh annual capacity) for Li-ion batteries (earlier post), have agreed to develop and commercialize battery cell technology for heavy commercial vehicles. Scania is investing €10 million (US$12.5 million) in the partnership to... Read more →

New MIT metal-mesh membrane could solve longstanding problems with liquid metal displacement batteries; inexpensive grid power storage

A new metal mesh membrane developed by researchers at MIT could advance the use of the Na–NiCl2 displacement battery, which has eluded widespread adoption owing to the fragility of the β"-Al2O3 membrane. A battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using thea new type of metal... Read more →

POSCO to set up two JVs with Huayou Cobalt for Li-ion battery precursors and cathodes

South Korea-based steelmaker POSCO will establish two Li-ion battery material joint ventures in China with leading cobalt supplier Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt. One company will focus on precursors; the other will produce cathodes. Huayou Cobalt will own a 60% stake in the joint venture for precursors and POSCO the remaining 40%.... Read more →

Lithium metal—with its high theoretical capcity and low electrochemical potential—is an ideal anode for Li-ion batteries, and is the material of choice for advanced batteries such as Li-sulfur and Li-O2. However, dendritic growth on the anode leads to an unstable solid electrolyte interphase, volume fluctuation, and even shorting of the... Read more →

A team of researchers led by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed an active polyelectrolyte binder (PEB) that actively regulates key ion transport processes within a lithium-sulfur battery, and have also shown how it functions on a molecular level. The new... Read more →

Ricardo aims to be the niche battery pack manufacturer of choice for premium high-performance hybrids and EVs

Ricardo said that its recent completion of a full EV sports car battery manufacturing concept program by its Performance Products division is a significant milestone in its aim to become the niche battery manufacturer of choice for high performance hybrids and EVs. Ricardo Performance Products has been in niche volume... Read more →

Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group, has signed a Share Subscription Agreement with Australian lithium miner Orocobre to become a 15% shareholder on a fully diluted basis by private placements and participation in Orocobre’s public accelerated entitlement share offering, announced in conjunction with this investment. The total... Read more →

In 2020, battery-electric vehicles will be a cheaper vehicle option than fuel cell electric vehicles for the majority of the light duty fleet (79-97%), according to a new study by a team at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). However, the cost of the two... Read more →

Sendyne Corp., a leading provider of sensing, modeling/simulation, and control products, has introduced CellMod, the first Li-Ion battery simulation tool that can predict cell and pack behavior with a percentage of error of less than 5% under a wide range of test conditions. Unlike empirical models often used today, CellMod... Read more →

New Renault-Nissan-Mitsubish venture fund to invest up to $1B over five years; 1st investment in Ionic Materials for solid-state electrolyte

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi launched Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to $1 billion to support open innovation over the next five years. In its first year, the fund expects to invest up to $200 million in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused... Read more →

Fisker unveiled the Emotion electric luxury sedan at CES 2018. Featuring automatic butterfly doors and five integrated Quanergy S3 LiDAR sensors (earlier post) for autonomous driving up to Level 4, the all-wheel drive EMotion has a projected range of 400 miles (644 km) and a top speed of 161 mph... Read more →

Nexeon leading $13.6M project SUNRISE to advance silicon anode technology for higher capacity EV batteries

Nexeon, a UK-based developer of silicon anode materials for Li-ion batteries (earlier post), and its partners have been awarded £7 million (US$9.5 million) in Innovate UK funding toward a £10-million (US$13.6-million) project to develop significantly better materials for Li-ion batteries. The work is an essential step to achieving electric vehicles... Read more →

Researchers at the Wuhan University of Technology in China have developed a facile, efficient, and general method to improve the electrochemical performance of electrode materials using a facile and general carbon coating technology. Their work is reported in a paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters. Among numerous cathode materials,... Read more →

Research team explains mechanism for voltage loss in NCM Li-ion batteries

A team comprising researchers from Samsung and academic colleagues in China and the US have determined the reason for voltage loss in Li-ion batteries using lithium-rich layered transition metal oxide cathodes. Combining various X-ray spectroscopic, microscopic, and structural probes, they found that partially reversible transition metal migration decreases the potential... Read more →

Researchers in China are proposing a new strategy to retard dendrite formation on Li metal anodes in high-capacity Li-ion batteries. In a paper published in the ACS journal Nano Letters, they describe trapping Li within hollow silica microspheres with a carbon nanotube core to suppress dendrite growth. Such an electrode... Read more →

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a technique to create high performance lithium-ion batteries utilizing sulfur and silicon electrodes. Reported in an open-access paper in the journal Scientific Reports, this sulfur-silicon full cell (SSFC) battery architecture gradually integrates controlled amounts of pure lithium... Read more →

Germany launches €12.1M Fab4Lib project to develop large-scale production of Li-ion batteries; 6 GWh gigafactory

In January, a consortium of 17 companies and research institutes in Germany will begin researching and developing processes for the large-scale production of lithium-ion battery cells. The Fab4Lib project aims to explore innovative solutions along the value chain of lithium-ion technology and to validate them in demonstrators. The project is... Read more →

Airbus and Williams Advanced Engineering have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the two companies will focus on the ways in which ultra-lightweight materials, battery technologies and electrical cell chemistries can be integrated on Airbus’ Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) program. In 2015, Airbus Defence and Space and Sion... Read more →

The BMW Group and Solid Power partner to drive solid-state battery adoption in EVs (updated with chemistries)

The BMW Group is partnering with Solid Power, a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, in a joint effort to develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for electric vehicle applications. In this effort, the BMW Group will assist Solid Power to advance its technology in order to achieve performance levels required for... Read more →

German researchers develop technique capable of determining Li metal plating during Li-ion battery charging; benefit for EVs

A new technique—operando electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy—developed by researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM), Forschungszentrum Jülich, and RWTH Aachen University provides a unique insight into how the charging rate of lithium-ion batteries can be a factor limiting their lifetime and safety. The study is published in the journal Materials... Read more →

An international research team from Tsinghua University, MIT and Argonne National Laboratory has discovered a series of novel lithium titanate hydrates that show better electrochemical performances compared to all the Li2O–TiO2 materials reported so far—including those after nanostructuring, doping and/or coating. Reported in an open access paper in the journal... Read more →

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are proposing a new design concept for lithium-ion batteries that introduces slits in the electrodes—a feature which may mitigate the risk of battery failure during automobile accidents. The concept, presented in a paper in the journal Joule, could allow manufacturers to scale down... Read more →

ARPA-E issues $100M OPEN funding opportunity announcement to support early-stage energy R&D

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $100 million in funding for new projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA‑E) latest OPEN funding opportunity. (DE-FOA-0001858) ARPA-E issued previous OPEN solicitations in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Open solicitations enable ARPA-E to support transformational projects outside the... Read more →

U of Waterloo team develops low-cost approach to stabilize Li metal anodes

Researchers at the University of Waterloo (Canada) have developed a low-cost and scalable approach that tackles the stabilization of Li metal electrodes by forming a single-ion-conducting and stable protective surface layer in vivo. They use a rationally designed electrolyte additive complex that reacts with the Li surface to form the... Read more →

Toyota and Panasonic to start feasibility study on forming joint automotive prismatic battery business; studying solid-state batteries also

Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed to begin studying the feasibility of creating a joint business focused specifically on high-capacity prismatic batteries for automotive applications. Panasonic is notably already a parter with Tesla and its Gigafactory, making cylindrical cells. This agreement is intended to address growing demand... Read more →

Researchers discover pathway to optimize performance of lithium-rich cathodes; potential boon for EVs

Lithium-rich layered oxide cathodes are of significant interest because their specific capacities often exceed 200 mAh g-1 at high operating voltages over 3.5V, in contrast to the performance of their conventional layered counterparts with capacities of ~145-165 mAh g-1. The higher energy density could theoretically power an EV 30-50% further... Read more →

Applications open for ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship for innovative electrochemical research; alignment with Toyota’s needs

ECS (The Electrochemical Society), in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), is requesting proposals from young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology. Electrochemical research has already informed the development... Read more →

The Volkswagen brand Board of Management has agreed on milestones with key suppliers at the “MEB Supplier Summit” in the run-up to start of production for the first vehicle based on the new modular electric drive kit (MEB). Production of the compact all-electric Volkswagen I.D. will begin in 100 weeks... Read more →

A team in China has used graphene microsheets (GMs)—prepared from microcrystalline graphite minerals by an electrochemical & mechanical approach—as a special conductive support for sulfur for the cathode of a lithium-sulfur battery. The graphene microsheets feature excellent conductivity and low-defect, small sheet sizes of <1 μm2 and ≤ 6 atomic... Read more →

Volkswagen, BASF present “Science Award Electrochemistry” to Dr. Jennifer Rupp from MIT; solid-state batteries

The BASF and Volkswagen international “Science Award Electrochemistry 2017” (earlier post) this year goes to Dr. Jennifer Rupp at MIT. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and academia selected her for her outstanding research results in the area of next-generation energy storage systems. In addition, a special prize for... Read more →

BASF grants Pulead a sub-license under Argonne Lab NCM cathode material patents

BASF has granted China-based battery cathode producer Pulead a sub-license under Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) patents related to nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. (Earlier post.) Pulead is now licensed to make, use, sell, offer to sell, distribute and import the NCM cathode materials in the US market.... Read more →