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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Cummins acquiring Brammo for energy storage technology

October 16, 2017

Cummins Inc. is acquiring the assets of Brammo, Inc., which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications. Adding Brammo’s battery pack expertise and resources is an important step for Cummins in its efforts to become a global electrified power leader.

Brammo began developing and building electric motorcycles in 2007; the company originally developed custom battery modules for electric racing motorcycles that could compete and win against gas equivalents. In 2015, Brammo sold its electric motorcycle division to investor Polaris. Brammo’s energy storage expertise evolved into Brammo’s “Energy of Things” platform, with solutions scaling from 1.5 kWh to 100 kWh and 12V to 700V.

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Europe plans “EU Battery Alliance” to establish full large-scale battery development and production; strategic plan next year

October 13, 2017

The European Union is beginning efforts to establish a full value chain of advanced batteries in Europe, with large-scale Li-ion battery cell production, and the circular economy, at the core. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who is in charge of the Energy Union, organized a high-level meeting on battery development and production in Europe this past Wednesday in Brussels.

The meeting pulled together stakeholders from European industry—including automotive OEMs, chemical companies, energy companies and battery cell manufacturing companies—and member states to discuss the establishment of such a full value chain of batteries in Europe. The meeting agreed that large-scale manufacturing of Li-ion cells with highest possible control of intellectual property (IP) is crucial for EU economy and job creation for the future.

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AKASOL to showcase high-performance battery systems for e-buses at Busworld Europe; expanding production

At Busworld Europe in Belgium later this month, AKASOL will present its AKASYSTEM OEM battery system as a complete roof installation including the chiller and other additional components. From 2018, two well-known European bus manufacturers will use the technology in Germany, with plans to equip around 10,000 e-buses over the next few years. AKASOL is now expanding its production facilities in order to meet growing demand and further customer orders.

With its compact dimensions (150 x 700 x 1,700 mm) and modular design, AKASYSTEM OEM is especially suitable for use in commercial vehicles such as buses or trucks. AKASOL has succeeded in integrating standardized PHEV battery modules (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) from major manufacturers which are also used in the passenger car segment.

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Ceramic pump moves molten metal at a record 1,400 ˚C; new avenues for energy storage and hydrogen production

October 12, 2017

A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 ˚C (1,673 K) can transfer high-temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems. The pump was developed by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with collaborators from Purdue University and Stanford University. The research was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and reported in the journal Nature.

The new pump could facilitate high efficiency, low-cost thermal storage, providing a new way to store renewable energy generated by wind and solar power, and facilitate an improved process for generating hydrogen directly from fuels such as methane without producing carbon dioxide. Use of ceramic components, normally considered too brittle for mechanical systems, was made possible by precision machining and seals made from another high-temperature material: graphite.

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Stanford team develops sodium-ion battery with performance equivalent to Li-ion, but at much lower cost

October 10, 2017

Stanford researchers have developed a sodium-ion battery (SIB) that can store the same amount of energy as a state-of-the-art lithium ion, at substantially lower cost. As reported in a paper in Nature Energy, the Stanford team achieved four-sodium storage in a Na2C6O6 electrode with a reversible capacity of 484 mAh g−1, an energy density of 726 Wh kg−1cathode, an energy efficiency above 87% and a good cycle retention.

Chemical engineer Zhenan Bao and her faculty collaborators, materials scientists Yi Cui and William Chueh, aren’t the first researchers to design a sodium-ion battery; however, they believe their approach has the price and performance characteristics to create a sodium-ion battery costing less than 80$% of a lithium ion battery with the same storage capacity.

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XALT Energy introduces Gen II NMC-G Li-ion cell with 223 Wh/kg; 47% greater energy density

At the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) EXPO 2017 in Atlanta, XALT Energy introduced its first second-generation (Gen II) battery cell to its portfolio of lithium-ion cells. The 65Ah ultra-high energy (UHE) cell—with an NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) cathode and graphite anode (NMC-G)—delivers 223 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), maintains a high cycle life and delivers 47% more energy density compared to the first-generation (Gen I) technology.

The 65Ah UHE prismatic cell has a strong cycle and calendar life when compared to similar cells on the market while maintaining reliability, consistent high-quality and robust technology that are hallmarks of XALT Energy’s solutions. It is suited for high-energy density applications where space and weight are limiting factors, such as in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, grid storage, and electric marine vessels and locomotives, the company said.

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ZAF Energy Systems opens NiZn battery manufacturing production plant in Missouri

October 09, 2017

ZAF Energy Systems Inc. (ZAF) has opened a new production facility in Joplin, Missouri, dedicated to manufacturing its initial line of rechargeable nickel zinc (NiZn) batteries.

After a series of successful third-party test results by industry-leading companies in commercial trucking, manufacturing, and road construction, ZAF is expanding its production capacity to rapidly “seed the market” and drive demand for its nickel zinc battery as a replacement for lead-acid batteries in key market segments.

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Imperium3 consortium forms to establish Li-ion battery gigafactory in NY state; 3 GWh by Q4 2019 to grow to 15 GWh

October 06, 2017

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Imperium3 New York, Inc., a consortium of businesses spearheaded by three “Southern Tier” companies, will establish Li-ion research and development and production operations at the Huron Campus in Endicott, Broome County. Imperium3 New York will commercialize an innovative technology for making more efficient and less expensive lithium ion batteries while operating the state’s first giga-factory producing lithium ion batteries, producing 3GWh of batteries by Q4 2019, growing to 15 GWh.

The “Southern Tier” refers to counties in New York state west of the Catskill Mountains and along the Southern border of the state. The Imperium3NY consortium was formed by nearly 10 companies.

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Toshiba doubles anode capacity in next-generation Li-ion battery; titanium niobium oxide; application in FY 2019

October 03, 2017

Toshiba Corporation announced the development of its next-generation SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery), which uses a new material to double the capacity of the battery anode. The new battery offers high-energy density and the ultra-rapid recharging required for automotive applications. A compact EV with a 32 kWh next generation SCiB pack could recharge to a 320 km (199 miles) drive range (JC08 test cycle) after six minutes—three times the distance possible with current lithium-ion batteries Toshiba said.

Toshiba launched the SCiB as a safe, long-life, fast charging lithium-ion battery in 2008 (earlier post). Since then, the company has continuously refined the technology and improved real-world performance. For its next-generation SCiB, Toshiba has developed a titanium niobium oxide anode material that has double the lithium storage capacity by volume of the graphite-based anodes generally used in lithium-ion batteries.

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FDG Electric Vehicles setting up new Li-ion cathode materials factory

China-based FDG Electric Vehicles (FDG) is broadening its upstream supply chain and establishing a new cathode materials factory. FDG Kinetic (FKL), Guizhou Guian Asset Investment and ALEEES (Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry) have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture in Guizhou Guian New District to build a new production facility for cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries with a preliminary annual production target of 30,000 tonnes.

FDG is a vertically-integrated electric vehicle manufacturer. The Group’s core businesses include researching, designing and developing pure electric vehicles from the ground up, producing lithium-ion batteries, manufacturing cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, as well as other direct investments. FDG is a partner in US-based Chanje, a start-up targeting the electric truck market. (Earlier post.) In September, FDG announced that its first shipment of electric trucks for Chanje was on its way to the US.

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GM to introduce at least 20 new EVs by 2023; 2 in next 18 months; batteries and fuel cells; SURUS

October 02, 2017

General Motors said it will introduce at least 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Given customers’ various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification—battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements.

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Rice University team finds asphalt-lithium metal anode enables faster charging, resistance to dendrite formation; Li-S test cell

Rice University team finds asphalt-lithium metal anode enables faster charging, resistance to dendrite formation; Li-S test cell

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour has developed anodes comprising porous carbon made from asphalt that showed exceptional stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles. A high-current density of 20 milliamps per square centimeter demonstrated the material’s promise for use in rapid charge and discharge devices that require high-power density. The finding is reported in the journal ACS Nano.

In addition, the researchers found that the new anode prevented the formation of lithium dendrites. These mossy deposits invade a battery’s electrolyte. If they extend far enough, they short-circuit the anode and cathode and can cause the battery to fail, catch fire or explode.

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NSF awards UIC $1.44M to discover new 2D materials for better batteries

September 29, 2017

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $1.44-million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to discover new 2D materials that can be used to manufacture better and cheaper batteries. Two-dimensional materials, of which graphene is the most common, are extremely strong, lightweight, flexible, and excellent conductors of heat and electricity.

Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, about 700 2D materials are predicted to be stable; many remain to be synthesized. The global market for 2D materials is expected to reach $390 million within a decade.

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ABB and Northvolt partner for Europe’s largest battery factory; semiconductor foundry as model

September 26, 2017

ABB and Northvolt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a wide-ranging supply and technology partnership, including products and services for Northvolt’s planned lithium-ion battery factory and close collaboration on development of battery solutions and R&D activities. Northvolt intends for its factory to supply European customers in the automotive and key industries with high quality and customizable battery solutions. ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) will support the initial phase of this project through an early investment.

Northvolt plans to build Europe’s largest and most advanced lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden, using the semiconductor foundry as a model. Customers will provide specifications, or work with Northvolt to develop an application-specific cell. Northvolt intends to offer one or two basic form factors and perfect the production of these. The company will offer a number of leading industry standard chemistries, which will be improved continuously. For high volume customers, proprietary chemistries will be closely tailored to fit specific needs.

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Johnson Matthey targets coming EV market with $270M investment in battery material technology

September 22, 2017

During its Capital Markets Day presentations, specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey said it will invest an initial £200 million (US$270 million) starting in 2018 to build capacity to drive growth in a market which could be more than $30 billion sales when battery electric vehicle penetration increases to around 10%.

In addition to what it projects as “breakout growth” in Battery Materials, Johnson Matthey also said it expects to deliver sustained growth in Clean Air markets—including automotive exhaust treatment solutions—driven by share gains in European light duty and upcoming tighter legislation.

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Mercedes-Benz to set up EV production in US, battery plant; $1B investment in Alabama

September 21, 2017

Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving—always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations.

In addition, a battery plant will also be built near the existing passenger-car plant ensuring availability of advanced technology for future generations of Mercedes-Benz vehicles built in the US. In total, Mercedes-Benz plans to invest $1 billion in the expansion of its industrial footprint in the region, most of which is slated for the electric initiative.

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Cornell team uses indium coating to enable use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes

Researchers at Cornell led by Professor Lyndon Archer, in collaboration with Professor Ravishankar Sundararaman at Rensselaer Polytechnic, have demonstrated a new technique for enabling the use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes in rechargeable batteries.

In a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie the team shows that the indium (In) coatings stabilize the Li metal via multiple processes, including exceptionally fast surface diffusion of lithium ions and high chemical resistance to liquid electrolytes. Indium coatings also undergo reversible alloying reactions with lithium ions, facilitating design of high-capacity hybrid In-Li anodes that use both alloying and plating approaches for charge storage. The resultant In-Li anodes exhibit minimal capacity fade in extended galvanostatic cycling when paired with commercial-grade cathodes.

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Proterra and LG Chem co-develop new battery cell for heavy-duty market; Proterra sets electric distance record

September 19, 2017

Leading electric bus manufacturer Proterra and LG Chem co-developed a battery cell that has been optimized to meet the unique performance and safety demands of the heavy-duty vehicle market. The cell chemistry has been optimized for exceptional energy throughput capability, high charge rate acceptance, and industry leading energy density.

Last year, Proterra introduced the Catalyst E2, the longest-range electric transit bus on the market. Capable of traveling up to 350 miles (563 km) on a single charge, the Catalyst E2 meets the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US mass transit route. For this program, LG Chem has developed an advanced battery cell to meet Proterra’s highest standard in terms of performance and safety. The E2 battery packs represent the heavy-duty industry’s highest pack-level energy density at 160 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L.

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alpha-En Corporation and Argonne partner on Li metal anodes for EV batteries; $750K award from DOE

alpha-En Corporation, a company that has developed a patent-pending process to produce high-purity thin-film lithium metal anodes and associated products sustainably, will receive an award of $750,000 from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transition Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF).

This funding will be used to commercialize Argonne National Laboratory’s proprietary highly conductive solid-state electrolyte coating for alpha-En’s lithium metal anodes. The merger of these technologies further enhances alpha-En’s process and the resulting product. Argonne’s technology in conjunction with alpha-En’s will create an efficient process for a new product allowing for a faster path to market.

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Daimler Trucks invests in Israeli nanotechnology materials pioneer StoreDot; FlashBattery technology

September 15, 2017

Daimler AG’s Trucks division is investing in the Israeli company StoreDot Ltd. The Tel Aviv-based company, founded in 2012, is a nanotechnology materials pioneer and a leading companies in the field of electric charging and energy-storage materials. A representative from Daimler will be appointed to StoreDot’s Board of Directors.

Complementing the investment, both partners have agreed to a strategic partnership that focuses on the field of fast battery charging. StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology enables charging any electric vehicle within minutes, as quickly as filling a tank of gas. Furthermore, FlashBattery’s high efficiency in recuperation is particularly interesting for commercial vehicles; better usage of braking energy increases the range and requires less frequent charging.

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A123 Systems invests in solid-state battery technology company Solid Power

September 14, 2017

A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, has invested in Solid Power Inc., a developer of solid-state battery technology. Solid Power’s technology combines an exceptionally high capacity cathode with a high capacity lithium metal anode in combination with a high ionic conductivity solid separator. The battery materials are 100-percent inorganic and possess no flammable or volatile components.

The Solid Power batteries provide substantially higher energy than conventional lithium ion (2-3X greater) while also enabling lower cost systems due to the potential for eliminating many of the costly safety features typically associated with lithium-ion systems.

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Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction; fuel-cell/battery plug-in hybrid powertrain

September 12, 2017

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL (earlier post). Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) from the Mercedes-Benz family combines fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid.

With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a total range of up to 437 km (271.5 miles) in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a battery-powered range of up to 49 km (30.5 miles) from the 9.3 kWh (net) lithium-ion battery (13.8 kWh gross). An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL, Daimler said it is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

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Audi’s Aicon autonomous concept: Level 5 with 700-800 km electric range

Audi is showcasing its autonomous driving strategy at the IAA 2017 with the production Audi A8 (conditional automated driving at level 3 as standard) and two concept cars will also be demonstrating the Audi vision for level 4 and level 5. (Earlier post.)

The four-door Level 5 design vision Audi Aicon presents an autonomous Audi of the future with no steering wheel or pedals. The Aicon is designed for purely electric operation and should be able to cover distances between 700 and 800 kilometers (435.0 - 497.1 mi) on a single charge.

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Volkswagen presents new I.D. CROZZ II battery-electric SUV concept; on sale in 2020

At the traditional Volkswagen Group Night event on the evening before the International Motor Show (IAA) opens in Frankfurt, the Volkswagen brand staged the world premiere of the newest I.D. CROZZ electric concept vehicle. The I.D. CROZZ is part of the electric campaign in which Volkswagen will be expanding its electric car model range—initially with three models from 2020. In 2025 the Volkswagen Brand will be offering 23 all-electric models. (Earlier post.) This model, which launches in 2020, is not only an important pillar of Volkswagen’s electric mobility campaign, but is also part of Volkswagen’s current SUV campaign.

The first version of the zero emission I.D. CROZZ was presented in Shanghai in April 2017. (Earlier post.) This concept vehicle has now been systematically further developed and refined in the direction of a production car as the I.D. CROZZ II. The basic concept of a crossover that combines an SUV with a four-door coupé has been further sharpened in this design. In addition, the I.D. CROZZ II has new features such as interactive voice control that can be used to open or close all doors and to activate or deactivate the fully automated I.D. Pilot mode.

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Volkswagen Group new Roadmap E: 50 BEV, 30 PHEV new Group vehicles by 2025, €50B battery tender; €20B capex earmark

September 11, 2017

At the Volkswagen Group Media Night ahead of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, the Volkswagen Group announced what it called the most comprehensive electrification initiative in the global automotive industry. Under the new “Roadmap E”, Volkswagen will have electrified its entire model portfolio by 2030 at the latest.

This means that, by then, there will be at least one electrified version of each of the 300 or so Group models across all brands and markets. This makes Volkswagen the first big mobility group to have put a date on the electrification of its entire fleet. The Group will need more than 150 GWh of battery capacity annually by 2025 for its own e-fleet alone. This is equivalent to at least four gigafactories for battery cells. To meet this demand, the Company has put one of the largest procurement volumes in the industry’s history out to tender: more than €50 billion (US60 billion).

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Freudenberg Sealing showcasing range of e-mobility solutions at the 2017 Battery Show North America

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, a global developer of engineered sealing solutions, will showcase a portfolio of e-mobility products at this week’s 2017 North American Battery Show in Novi (US). The company will display components that assist with thermal management, power efficiency, friction reduction, weight reduction and compact installation spaces, among others.

Some of the company’s solutions for lithium-ion batteries, for example, include the Curve Gasket, Offset Seals, O-Rings and Large Format Gaskets. As in standard internal combustion systems, these Freudenberg components help reduce friction, emissions and weight in the lithium-ion batteries used electric vehicles. They also offer easy handling and assembly.

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New hierarchical metal-organic nanocomposite cathode for high-energy sodium-ion batteries

Building on earlier work, researchers in China have fabricated a hierarchical metal-organic nanocomposite for use as a cathode in sodium-ion batteries (SIBs). Their electrode—metal-organic cuprous tetracyanoquino-dimethane (CuTCNQ) in a three-dimensional (3D) conductive carbon nanofibers (CNFs) network (CuTCNQ)—exhibits a capacity of 252 mAh g-1 at 0.1 C and highly reversible stability for 1200 cycles within the voltage range of 2.5 - 4.1 V (vs. Na+/Na). They obtained a high specific energy of 762 Wh kg-1 with high average potential of 3.2 V (vs. Na+/Na).

In a paper published in the journal ChemSusChem, the team from Yunnan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Tongji University suggest that such in-situ formed electroactive metal-organic composites with tailored nanoarchitecture are a promising alternative choice for high-performance cathode materials in high-energy sodium-ion batteries.

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Lux analysis points to fall off in innovation interest in renewables and energy storage

New analysis based on big data analysis by Lux Research suggests that innovation interest in renewables is declining, after peaking about four years ago. Without continued innovation momentum, the market research firm noted, long-term success driven by further clean energy technology improvements is thrown into question.

The Lux Tech Signal works by algorithmically doing high-throughput parallel analysis of various large and complex datasets about innovation, resulting in a revealing picture about any technology’s progress. Lux says that the method has proven successful in uncovering predictive data about emerging innovation such as artificial intelligence, health sensors, and other digital transformation topics, as well as tracking declining innovation like diesel engines and the rise of tight oil, electric vehicles, and quinoa, to give just a few examples.

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DOE awards Saratoga Energy $1M commercialization grant for graphite from CO2 technology for Li-ion batteries

September 08, 2017

Saratoga Energy, the developer of a process for synthesizing graphite from carbon dioxide, has won a $1-million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Department of Energy to help commercialize its innovation. The Saratoga Energy process—which electrochemically separates CO2 into oxygen and graphitic carbon—produces graphite more sustainably and affordably than traditional graphite, which is usually sourced from poorly-regulated mines in China or synthesized from petroleum, said Drew Reid, Saratoga Energy’s CEO.

In addition to offering sustainable sourcing and cost benefits, Saratoga Energy’s graphite also has performance advantages. Graphite made with its patented process can charge and discharge more quickly, making it ideal for electric vehicle customers, the company said.

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Researchers suggest using pharma as model to bring battery innovations to market

September 07, 2017

The path to bringing more efficient, effective, and economical batteries to market over the last 25 years is overwhelmingly littered with failure. Now, however, in a recent paper published in MRS Energy & Sustainability, Vinayak Dravid, the Abraham Harris chaired professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, his graduate student Eve Hanson, and battery start-up SiNode Systems (earlier post) co-founder and CEO Samir Mayekar propose an updated model of US battery commercialization.

The model is informed by pharma, an industry that faces many similar commercialization challenges yet, unlike energy, boasts a deep history of successful market debuts.

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DOE to issue funding opportunity for batteries and electrification to enable extreme fast charging

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends (DE-FOA-00001807) to issue, on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001808) targeting the development plug-in electric vehicle systems that can recharge rapidly at high power levels.

Advanced battery projects will focus on early-stage research of battery cells that can enable extreme fast charging, while electrification projects will support the development and verification of electric drive systems and infrastructure for plug-in vehicle fast charging.

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Silatronix awarded Navy ONR contract for organosilicon electrolytes to enable safe, high-stability LTO Li-ion batteries; 48V system potential

Silatronix, a developer of unique organosilicon (OS) electrolytes for use in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) (earlier post), recently was awarded a $1-million contract from the US Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR). Under the contract, Silatronix will apply OS electrolytes in LTO anode systems to improve their commercial viability by addressing their poor high temperature performance while maintaining the other attractive performance attributes of LTO technology.

Silatronix CEO Mark Zager noted that while Navy applications are the focus of this research, there are many more commercial applications in which LTO could potentially be applied to improve high temperature performance. One such application is with 48V, under-hood automotive start-stop batteries.

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New solid electrolyte for Li-ion batteries using self-assembling molecular crystals

September 05, 2017

A researcher at Shizuoka University in Japan has identified new solid materials that could lead to the manufacture of non-toxic solid-state lithium-ion batteries, according to a study recently published in an open access paper in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Makoto Moriya investigated the development of supramolecular solid electrolytes by constructing ion conduction paths using a supramolecular hierarchical structure in molecular crystals; the ion conduction path is an attractive key structure due to its ability to generate solid-state ion diffusivity.

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SK Innovation to begin production of NCM-811 batteries

September 01, 2017

Korea-based SK Innovation said it will start the first commercial production of mid-and large-size pouch-type NCM-811 batteries. NCM-811 refers to the nickel-rich layered cathode material, comprising 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese. SK Innovation has been producing NCM-622 cells (60% nickel, 20% cobalt, 20% manganese in the cathode). SK Innovation said that the new higher energy density cells could extend EV range by another 100 km compared to current cells.

In a 2016 review paper published in ACS Energy Letters (Myung et al.), a team of Korean researchers suggested that the vast majority of electric vehicles on the market over the next decade will use nickel-rich cathode materials—LiNi1−x−yCoxAlyO2 (NCA) and LiNi1−x−yCoxMnyO2 (NCM) in particular. Extending intrinsic capacity in these layered oxides requires, for example, increasing nickel content. Such an effort, however, also involves balancing other operational parameters (power, lifetime, safety, cost).

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nanoFlowcell planning entry into FIA Formula E with flow cell and 48V drive

August 31, 2017

Swiss R&D company nanoFlowcell Holdings (earlier post) is in discussions with Formula E Holdings on nanoFlowcell’s participation in the FIA Formula E Championship and intent to enter with a Formula E race car with nanoFlowcell 48VOLT flow-cell drive.

The nanoFlowcell is a compact flow battery operated with two ionic liquid electrolytes (bi-ION). At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, nanoFlowcell introduced the QUANT 48V electric sports car with a new version of the company’s 48-volt low-voltage drive. nanoFlowcell said that a throttled and adapted drive system based on the type installed in the QUANT 48VOLT could be used to fulfill the Formula E criteria for the maximum battery and motor output.

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Northwestern, Argonne team IDs promising Li-rich layered oxide electrode pairs for high-energy-density Li-ion batteries

August 30, 2017

A team from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have used multi-faceted high-throughput density functional theory (HT-DFT) screening to identify a number of new Li2MIO3-Li2MIIO3 active/inactive electrode pairs—MI and MII being transition- or post-transition metal ions—that can be tested experimentally for high-energy-density LIBs.

In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, they presented their top 30 active/inactive pair cathode composite systems, ranked by gravimetric energy density, with a focus on the material properties with respect to operating voltage; stability against oxygen loss and metal-migration; and the formation of solid-solution and/or coherent nanocomposites. In particular, they proposed that Li4CrTiO6 and Li4CrMnO6, in which Cr6+ oxidation is accessible during lithium extraction, are worthy candidates. (Cr6+ is a health hazard and such experiments would have to be conducted with caution, they noted.)

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Groupe Renault, Connected Energy install EV charging with 2nd-life batteries at highway rest areas

August 29, 2017

UK-based Connected Energy and Groupe Renault have installed two quick-charge stations based on Connected Energy’s E-STOR energy storage technology on highways in Belgium and Germany. Motorists there will be the first in the world to benefit from this service.

The E-STOR technology developed by Connected Energy uses second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles. With the E-STOR system, the batteries are recharged at low power, and the stored energy is then released at high power. It thus becomes possible to offer electric vehicle charging services in locations where constructing a high power connection to the power grid would be very costly. Economical and simple to install, E-STOR will contribute to the development of a network of quick-charging stations in Europe.

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Australian, Germany Li-ion gigafactory aspirants sign MoU

August 28, 2017

Magnis Resources Limited, part of a consortium aspiring to build a Li-ion gigafactory in Australia (earlier post), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with German Lithium-ion battery consortium TerraE-Holding GmbH (TerraE) for the supply of raw materials. TerraE-Holding GmbH has organized 17 major companies and research institutions into a consortium to handle planning for building large-scale lithium ion battery cell manufacturing in Germany. (Earlier post.)

Under the agreement, Magnis will supply raw materials to the TerraE Gigafactories. TerraE plans to build 34GWh of production capacity across two locations in Germany. First stage production is expected to commence in late 2019.

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New cathode design and understanding of electrolyte delivers greater efficiency in magnesium-ion batteries

August 25, 2017

Researchers have achieved a significant boost in the storage capacity of magnesium-ion batteries through a new design for the cathode and a new understanding of the electrolyte. In an open-access paper in the journal Nature Communications, they report a battery chemistry that utilizes magnesium mono-chloride cations in expanded titanium disulfide.

The battery demonstrates the reversible intercalation of 1 and 1.7 magnesium monochloride cations per titanium at 25 and 60 °C, respectively, corresponding to up to 400 mAh g−1 capacity based on the mass of titanium disulfide. The large capacity accompanies with excellent rate and cycling performances even at room temperature, opening up possibilities for a variety of effective intercalation hosts for multivalent-ion batteries.

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University of Sydney team advances rechargeable zinc-air batteries with bimetallic oxide–graphene hybrid electrocatalyst

August 16, 2017

Researchers at the University of Sydney, with colleagues at Nanyang Technological University, have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks hindering the commercialization of rechargeable zinc-air batteries.

Zinc-air batteries are powered by zinc metal and oxygen from the air. Cheaper to produce than lithium-ion batteries, they can also store more energy (theoretically five times more than that of lithium-ion batteries), are much safer, and are more environmentally friendly. However, while primary zinc-air batteries are currently used as an energy source in hearing aids and some film cameras and railway signal devices, their widespread use has been hindered by the fact that, up until now, recharging them (secondary batteries) has proved difficult. This is due to the lack of electrocatalysts that successfully reduce and generate oxygen during the discharging and charging of a battery. The research team outlines a new three-stage method to overcome this problem in a paper published in Advanced Materials.

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MIT, Toyota team clarifies role of iodide in Li-air batteries

August 15, 2017

Lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) batteries potentially could offer three times the gravimetric energy of current Li-ion batteries (3500 Wh/kg at the cell level); as such, they are looked to a potential solution for long-range EVs. However, tests of various approaches to creating such batteries have produced conflicting and confusing results, as well as controversies over how to explain them.

Now, researchers from MIT, with a colleague from Toyota Motor Europe’s R&D group, have carried out detailed tests that seem to resolve the questions surrounding one promising material for such batteries: lithium iodide (LiI). The compound was seen as a possible solution to some of the lithium-air battery’s problems, including an inability to sustain many charging-discharging cycles, but conflicting findings had raised questions about the material’s usefulness for this task. The new study, published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, explains these discrepancies. Although the results suggest that the material might not be suitable after all, the work provides guidance for efforts to overcome LiI’s drawbacks or to find alternative materials.

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Nissan to sell AESC automotive Li-ion battery business to GSR Capital

August 08, 2017

Nissan Motor has entered into a definitive sale and purchase agreement with GSR Capital (GSR), a private investment fund, for the sale of Nissan’s automotive electric battery operations and production facilities to GSR.

The sale and purchase agreement covers Nissan’s battery subsidiary, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), as well as battery manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, owned by Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), and in Sunderland, England, owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. (NMUK). Assets sold to GSR will also include part of Nissan’s Japanese battery development and production engineering operations located in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama.

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Canadian team proposes new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric battery packs

Canadian team proposes new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric battery packs

Researchers at the Clean Energy Research Laboratory, University of Ontario Institute of Technology are proposing a new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric vehicles that use propane as the fuel for the engine. (Further studies are possible to modify the systems for use on other kinds of electric vehicles.)

The proposed system boils liquid propane to remove the heat generated by the batteries, and the propane vapor is used to cool the part of the battery that is not covered with liquid propane. The results of their study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, show that the propane-based thermal management system provides good cooling control of the temperature of the batteries under high and continuous charge and discharge cycles at 7.5C.

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US Army, Brown Univ. partner to study SEI on silicon anodes to extend Li-ion battery life

August 07, 2017

Through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) negotiated by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Technology Transfer and Outreach Office, ARL and Brown University researchers are attempting to address the difficulty of characterizing and then engineering the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer that forms on the anode of lithium ion batteries, with particular emphasis on experimental silicon anodes with very high capacities for lithium.

The Army is working to replace all alkaline and nickel metal hydride field batteries with Li-ion batteries. “The Army is developing hybrid vehicles for use on the battlefield, and that means they will also use Li-ion batteries. Certain high-energy applications such as reactive armor and directed-energy weapons also seem suited for Li-ion batteries, although those technologies are still developing,” said Dr. Arthur von Wald Cresce, a researcher in ARL’s electrochemistry branch. “We want to push the voltage of Li-ion batteries higher.

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TerraE forms consortium to build large-scale Li-ion battery manufacturing in Germany; 34 GWh/y by 2028

August 04, 2017

Germany-based TerraE-Holding GmbH has organized 17 major companies and research institutions into a consortium to handle planning for building large-scale lithium ion battery cell manufacturing in Germany. The goal is to gradually build up production capacities of up to 34 GWh/year by the year 2028. The consortium will address industrial and and electromobility with different cell formats.

The consortium includes companies from throughout the supply chain, such as infrastructure manufacturing planners, material producers, machine engineering companies, cell manufacturers, and industrial consumers. The initial meeting to establish the consortium took place on 18 July in Hanau.

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ORNL team finds way to deliver on promise of VO2(B) Li-ion cathode

August 02, 2017

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have discovered a way to achieve the promise of bronze-phase vanadium dioxide [VO2(B)] as an electrode material for Li-ion batteries. In a paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters, the team reports that epitaxial VO2(B) films can accomplish the theoretical limit for capacity with persistent charging−discharging cyclability owing to the high structural stability and unique open pathways for Li-ion conduction.

Using atomic-scale characterization via scanning transmission electron microscopy and density functional theory calculations, the researchers determined that that the unique open pathways in VO2(B) provide the most stable sites for Li adsorption and diffusion. The work ultimately demonstrates that VO2(B) is a highly promising energy storage material and has no intrinsic hindrance in achieving superior cyclability with a very high power and capacity in a Li-ion conductor.

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Lux Research: transportation and stationary energy storage passing consumer electronics as largest energy storage markets by next year

July 31, 2017

Although consumer electronics—devices such as smartphones and laptops—have traditionally driven the most demand for energy storage devices, transportation and stationary applications will soon become the largest energy storage markets, according to Lux Research.

By 2025 the energy storage market will top $100 billion with applications in transportation alone reaching $69 billion, Lux forecasts. Transformations in the electricity grid mean that stationary storage has the highest growth rates and will reach $19 billion in 2025.

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Stanford, CMU, MIT team reviews challenges to practical implementation of solid-state Li-ion batteries

July 26, 2017

Toyota, which has been working on solid-state batteries for EVs for a number of years (earlier post), is in the news with a report by the Wall Street Journal that it will be ready to commercialize a solid-state battery by 2022.

Solid-state lithium-ion batteries, with higher volumetric energy densities than currently available lithium-ion batteries, offer a number of conceptual advantages including improved packaging efficiency; improved safety; and long cycle life. However, there remain a number of unresolved issues precluding commercialization at this point. A team from Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIT recently published an open-access paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society reviewing the practical challenges hindering the development of solid-state Li-ion batteries.

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Gel polymer electrolyte for stabilizing sulfur composite electrodes for long-life, high-energy Li-S batteries

July 24, 2017

Researchers in Sweden and Italy have devised a simple strategy to address the issues currently hampering commercialization of high-energy density Li-sulfure batteries, including limited practical energy density, life time and the scaling-up of materials and production processes.

In a paper in the Journal ChemSusChem they report that using a novel gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) enables stable performance close to the theoretical capacity (1675 mAh g-1) of a low cost sulfur-carbon composite with high active material loading, i.e. 70% S. The GPE prevents sulfur dissolution and reduces migration of polysulfide species to the anode.

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Two new approaches to high-performance SiOx anodes for Li-ion batteries

July 21, 2017

Although silicon is a very attractive anode material because of its higher energy density, its huge volume change over repeated charge−discharge cycles rapidly degrades cycle life. As an alternative approach to mitigate the well-known drawbacks of silicon while retaining the energy density advantages, silicon monoxide (SiOx, x ≈ 1) has become attractive as well (e.g., earlier post).

SiOx offers high reversible specific capacity and improved cyclic performance; however, it still suffers from inevitable volumetric changes and poor electrical conductivity. A number of research efforts have tackled those challenges as well. Now, separate research teams in China and the US report two new approaches toward a commercially viable SiOx electrode.

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First crop of DOE Battery500 seedlings awarded nearly $6M; high-risk, high-reward toward 500 Wh/kg

Announced in 2016, the Battery500 consortium, led by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), intends to build a battery pack with a specific energy of 500 Wh/kg, compared to the 170-200 Wh/kg per kilogram in today’s typical EV battery. (Earlier post.) Achieving this goal would result in a smaller, lighter and less expensive battery, and electric vehicles with significantly extended range.

As part of its efforts, the Battery500 consortium announced the “Seedling” program—new, potentially risky battery technology research projects complementing the core Battery500 research effort (earlier post)—and said it was setting aside a projected 20% of its 5-year, $50-million funding for that purpose, or about $2 million per year. Now, DOE has selected the first crop of seedlings: 15 Phase 1 projects, receiving almost $5.7 million in funding. (Earlier post.) Promising phase 1 awardees will be competitively down-selected at the end of 18 months for a second phase of research.

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KAIST team extends cycle life of silicon anodes with molecular pulley polyrotaxane in binder

Silicon anodes can deliver 3~5-times higher capacities compared with current graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries. However, their volume expands enormously during each charge-discharge cycle, leading to fractures of the electrode particles or delamination of the electrode film, both resulting in rapid capacity decay. Typical charge-discharge numbers for microparticle-size Si anodes are less than 100.

Numerous approaches have been tried to address this problem. Now, a KAIST research team led by Professors Jang Wook Choi and Ali Coskun have integrated molecular pulleys, called polyrotaxanes, into the electrode binder to enable stable cycle life for silicon microparticle anodes at commercial-level areal capacities. A paper on their work appears in the journal Science.

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Tokyo Tech team develops low-cost germanium-free solid electrolyte for Li-ion batteries

July 14, 2017

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications.

Described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials, the approach involves substituting germanium in the solid electrolyte for two more readily available elements: tin and silicon. The new material achieved an ionic conductivity that exceeds that of liquid electrolytes. Reporting the findings, Ryoji Kanno and colleagues stated: “This germanium-free lithium conductor could be a promising candidate as an electrolyte in all-solid-state batteries.

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Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant to produce batteries and electric powertrain components

July 13, 2017

Mercedes-Benz will build the fourth battery production factory in its global network—after the two plants in Kamenz and one in Beijing—at its Untertürkheim plant in Germany. As part of a transformation plan introduced in 2015, Untertürkheim—the lead plant in the global powertrain production and the home of Daimler headquarters—is successively transitioning from the production of conventional engines, transmissions and axles to production of the future powertrain components for electric vehicles. This now includes new battery production at the site and the assembly of electric modules for front and rear axles.

The Untertürkheim plant—founded in 1904—will become a competence center for the production of the entire electric powertrain.

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MIT-led study suggests route to improving solid-state Li-ion batteries

Researchers at MIT, and their colleagues in Germany, suggest that smooth surfaces on a solid electrolyte may prevent harmful Li infiltration, thereby improving the performance of solid-state Li-ion batteries. Their paper is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

Researchers have tried to get around the problems posed by conventional liquid electrolytes for Li-ion batteries—including flammability and dendrite formation that can lead to short circuits—by using a solid-state electrolyte made out of materials such as some ceramics. Although solid-state electrolytes would eliminate the flammability issue and offer other benefits, tests have shown that such materials tend to perform somewhat erratically and are more prone to short-circuits than expected.

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DOE awarding $19.4M to 22 advanced vehicle technologies projects; Mercedes-Benz, GM Li-S battery projects

July 12, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19.4 million to 22 new cost-shared projects to accelerate the research of advanced battery, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies, and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS). Among the awardees are Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and GM, with separate projects on Li-sulfur batteries, as two of the fifteen Phase 1 “Battery Seedling” Projects.

The Battery Seedling projects are aimed at innovative battery materials and approaches that complement the Vehicle Technologies Office Battery500 Consortium’s research to more than double the specific energy (to 500 watt-hours per kilogram) of lithium battery technologies. These projects enable smaller, safer, lighter weight, and less expensive battery packs that ultimately will make electric vehicles more affordable. Promising phase 1 awardees will be competitively down-selected at the end of 18 months for a second phase of research.

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Ricardo develops new model-based EV battery control technology; evaluating new cell chemistries

Ricardo has developed a new Battery Management System (BMS) for EVs that is scalable to a wide range of applications. The new BMS enhances the use of advanced model-based control methods to optimize the performance of both existing and next-generation cell chemistries.

One of the most significant impediments to an increased market share for plug-in vehicles is the high cost of rechargeable energy storage. This can represent a very significant cost element of a typical battery electric vehicle (BEV); manufacturers need to strike a balance between product affordability and available range between recharges. For BEVs to break out of this paradigm it is likely to require the development and refinement of battery technologies based on entirely new, more affordable, and lighter weight cell chemistries than those used in today’s lithium-ion based battery packs.

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Siemens and AES to form global energy storage technology joint venture: Fluence

July 11, 2017

Siemens AG and The AES Corporation are forming a new global energy storage technology and services company under the name Fluence. The joint venture will bring together AES’ experience deploying energy storage in seven countries with Siemens’ energy technology leadership and its global sales presence in more than 160 countries.

Fluence will operate independently of its parent companies, combining the capabilities and expertise from Siemens’ battery-based energy storage solutions group under the Energy Management division with AES’ subsidiary, AES Energy Storage. AES and Siemens are currently ranked among the leading energy storage integrators worldwide by Navigant Research. Together, the two companies have deployed or have been awarded 48 projects totaling 463 MW of battery-based energy storage across 13 countries, including the world’s largest lithium-ion battery-based energy storage project near San Diego, California.

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Daimler and BAIC investing $735M for BEVs and batteries at their JV BBAC; production by 2020

July 05, 2017

Daimler and BAIC are deepening their cooperation on battery-electric vehicles at their Sino-German production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC). The two companies pledged jointly to invest a total of five billion RMB (about US$735 million) in the production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) under the Mercedes-Benz brand at BBAC in Beijing.

As part of this new strategic framework agreement, Daimler and BAIC Motor are preparing to produce battery electric vehicles by 2020 at BBAC, and to provide the necessary infrastructure for battery localization using Chinese cells, as well as research and development capacities. This commitment includes a three-digit million investment (Euro) in battery production by the joint venture. The new BBAC battery factory will be part of the global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, in which Daimler is investing around €1 billion (US$1.13 billion).

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Tesla blames production shortfall of 100 kWh battery packs for lagging Q2 deliveries; says problem fixed; first Model 3s to be delivered 28 July

July 03, 2017

Tesla reported delivering just over 22,000 vehicles in Q2, of which just over 12,000 were Model S and just over 10,000 were Model X. While the Q2 2017 deliveries represent a 53% increase over Q2 2016, the figure is at the low-end of Tesla’s earlier guidance, and down about 12% from Q1 2017 deliveries. Total vehicle deliveries in the first half of 2017 were approximately 47,100.

Tesla said that the major factor affecting Q2 deliveries was a severe production shortfall of 100 kWh battery packs, which are made using new technologies on new production lines. Until early June, production averaged about 40% below demand. Once this was resolved, June orders and deliveries were strong, ranking as one of the best in its history, Tesla said.

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BASF & Nornickel to cooperate on raw materials for Li-ion batteries in Europe; BASF to invest €400M in cathode materials plants

June 29, 2017

BASF and Russia-based PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) signed a Memorandum of Understanding and entered exclusive negotiations to cooperate on the supply of raw materials for future battery materials production for lithium-ion batteries in Europe. The Nornickel Group is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the world’s leading producers of platinum and copper. The Group also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and sulfur.

BASF intends to invest up to €400 million in a first step to build industry-leading production plants for cathode materials in Europe. Through the prospective agreement, BASF would receive the raw materials from the Nornickel metal refinery in Harjavalta, Finland. Nornickel would also provide a secure supply of nickel and cobalt feedstock from its Russian mines at market prices.

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New multiphase structure cathode exploits lithium deficiency for better performance

June 28, 2017

In the ongoing quest to develop high-capacity cathode materials for high-energy batteries, the conventional approach has been to rely on lithium-excess materials to operate the cathode at high voltage. This approach, however, has been dogged by numerous unresolved issues, such as voltage fading and structural failure.

Now, an international team from the US and S. Korea is proposing a different approach to high-capacity cathodes: lithium deficiency as opposed to lithium excess. In a paper published in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems, they reported on their development of a multiphase structure (MPS) NMC cathode material that exploits the benefit of both spinel and layered structures. The prepared cathode material showed high structural, thermal and electrochemical stability with high cycle life and improved rate performance.

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Roland Berger and fka Index: China to dominate EV market and industry in foreseeable future

June 22, 2017

In the latest E-Mobility Index report (2Q/2017), consultancy Roland Berger and partner Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen Aachen (fka) find that China has for the first time moved into the pole position. The consultancy says that China will dominate both the market and the industry in the foreseeable future. France, however, has moved past Germany to take the lead in technology, according to the index. The two countries had jointly held the lead in Q1.

The index assess the relative competitive position of the seven leading automotive nations (Germany, France, Italy, the US, Japan, China and South Korea) on the basis of three key indicators: technology; industry; and market.

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Qualcomm makes strategic investment in safe battery technology company Amionx

June 21, 2017

Qualcomm has made a strategic investment in Amionx, a leader in safe battery technology. As part of its investment, Qualcomm President Derek Aberle will join the board of directors of Amionx.

Amionx is a spinout from American Lithium Energy (ALE) which was originally founded in 2006 by Dr. Jiang Fan and Dr. Robert Spotnitz—both widely recognized as foremost experts in battery technology. (Dr. Fan is CTO for Amionx.) ALE has been designing, manufacturing and supplying batteries to the Department of Defense for more than ten years. Amionx has pioneered and patented a technology called Safe Core that acts like a circuit-breaker to prevent lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion.

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Tsinghua team develops bio-inspired self-healing sulfur electrodes; almost no capacity decay after 2000 cycles

June 16, 2017

By mimicking fibrinolysis, a biological self-healing process, researchers at China’s Tsinghua University have developed a self-healing sulfur microparticle (SMiP) cathode. In a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers report that the SMiP cathode attained an optimized capacity (∼3.7 mAh cm−2), with almost no decay after 2,000 cycles at a high sulfur loading of 5.6 mg(S) cm−2.

The researchers suggest that a comprehensive understanding of this healing process could further guide the design of novel healing agents toward high-performance rechargeable batteries.

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High-performance tin anode for Li-ion batteries

June 12, 2017

A team from Nanjing University in China, using a titanium nitride (TiN) nanotube array as the substrate, has synthesized a high-performance composite tin anode (TiN@Sn) for Li-ion batteries.

The structured electrode delivers a capacity of 795 mAh gSn−1 (Sn basis) and 1812 mAh cmel-3 (electrode basis). The long-term cycling shows only 0.04% capacity decay per cycle. A paper on their work appears in the Journal of Power Sources.

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Renault and Powervault in EV battery “second-life” partnership trial

June 05, 2017

In the UK, Renault and Powervault are partnering to re-use electric vehicle (EV) batteries in home energy storage units. This partnership will reduce the cost of a Powervault smart battery unit by 30%, helping Powervault to bring home energy storage to the tipping point of mass-market roll-out in the UK.

Powervault is placing 50 trial units, powered by second-life batteries provided by Renault, in the homes of customers who already have solar panels installed. The trial will explore the technical performance of second-life batteries as well as customer reaction to home energy storage to help develop a roll-out strategy for the mass-market. The trial will be run with eligible customers of M&S Energy, plus social housing tenants and schools in the South East.

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Full thermal characterization of large format Li-pouch for better EV thermal management

May 30, 2017

A team a the University of Warwick has fully characterized the thermal behavior of a large-format 20 Ah lithium iron phosphate pouch cell over a wide range of ambient temperatures and C rates during both charging and discharging.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Power Sources, are intended to improve understanding of localized aging of the cell—and thus premature aging of battery packs. The work also provides insight into creating a guideline for instrumentation and determining where to place thermal sensors, as well as giving information on the necessary cooling strategy. The researchers suggest that improved temperature sensing methodology could underpin the development for more efficient battery thermal management systems, reducing computational complexity, weight and cost.

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Alabama Graphite reports high-performance Si-enhanced coated spherical purified graphite (Si-CSPG) for LIBs

May 29, 2017

Alabama Graphite Corp. (AGC) reported positive electrochemical results from downstream lithium-ion battery tests recently performed on its silicon-oxide-enhanced coated spherical purified graphite ("Si-CSPG") produced from the AGC’s ultra-high-purity 99.999 wt% C natural flake graphite.

Based on the addition of a 4 wt % silicon oxide (SiOx) to its CSPG, AGC was able to achieve a reversible capacity of 405.03 mAh/g and an irreversible capacity of 439.49 mAh/g. This compared to 347.2 mAh/g reversible capacity and 369.59 mAh/g irreversible capacity for commercial synthetic graphite.

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Fujitsu develops new Li iron pyrophosphate cathode material with abnormally high voltage for LIBs

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has successfully developed a high-voltage cathode material for lithium iron phosphate rechargeable batteries. Using a proprietary materials design technology as well as a technology that precisely controls the composition of raw materials and the formation process of materials, Fujitsu Laboratories has successfully synthesized lithium iron pyrophosphate (Li5.33Fe5.33(P2O7)4). This phosphate-based material has a voltage of 3.8 V, comparable to that of existing cobalt-based materials.

The new Fe-based cathode has a potential for Fe2+/3+ redox couple approaching to 3.8—the highest among those of all Fe-based phosphate materials and pyrophosphate materials reported so far, including LiFePO4, Li3Fe2(PO4)3, LiFeP2O7, Li2FeP2O7 and LiFe1.5P2O7. Fujitsu engineers is announcing details on the material at the 231st ECS Meeting in New Orleans this week.

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DOE awarding $72M in 73 Phase II SBIR/STTR grants

May 25, 2017

The US Department of Energy will award 73 grants totaling $72 million to 68 small businesses in 24 states. Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the latest selections are for Phase II research and development.

Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants competed for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II. In addition, prior Phase II awardees competed for sequential Phase II awards to continue prototype and process development. The median Phase II award is $1 million for a period of two years. The 73 awards are funded by Office of Science programs in Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, and Nuclear Physics.

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Daimler lays foundation for its second battery factory; €500M investment for premium eBattery plant

May 22, 2017

Daimler has laid the foundation for its second battery factory. At its wholly-owned subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, the second factory for lithium-ion batteries is being built with an investment of around €500 million (US$562 million).

Daimler is investing an overall amount of around €1 billion () in a global production for batteries. “With the second battery plant in Kamenz, we are giving the initial start for the development of the first premium eBattery factory. The local production of batteries is an important success factor in our electric offensive and a crucial element in order to flexibly and efficiently serve the global demand for electric vehicles. This makes our production network very well positioned for future mobility,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.

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HZB team devises new Ti4O7 cathode material for Lithium-sulfur batteries

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), with colleagues from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University of Potsdam, have fabricated a nanomaterial made from nanoparticles of a titanium oxide compound (Ti4O7) for use as a cathode material in lithium-sulfur batteries. The highly porous nanomaterial features high storage capacity that remains nearly constant over many charging cycles.

The well-defined porous Ti4O7 particles exhibit interconnected pores in the interior and have a high-surface area of 592 m2 g−1. To improve the conductivity of the electrode, the team coated a thin layer of carbon is coated on the Ti4O7 surface without destroying its porous structure. The porous Ti4O7 and carbon-coated Ti4O7 particles show significantly improved electrochemical performances as cathode materials for Li–S batteries as compared with those of TiO2 particles. A paper on the work is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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Rice team devises Li metal anode that completely suppresses Li dendrite formation

May 19, 2017

Rice University scientists have used a seamless graphene-carbon nanotube (GCNT) electrode to store lithium metal reversibly and with complete suppression of dendrite formation. The GCNT-Li capacity of 3351 mAh g-1GCNT-Li approaches that of bare Li metal (3861 mAh g-1Li)—indicating the low contributing mass of GCNT—while yielding a practical areal capacity up to 4 mAh cm-2 and cycle stability.

In a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, the team led by Dr. James Tour reports that a full battery based on GCNT-Li/sulfurized carbon (SC) exhibits high energy density (752 Wh kg-1total electrodes, where total electrodes = GCNT-Li + SC + binder), high areal capacity (2 mAh cm-2), cyclability (80% retention at > 500 cycles) and is free of Li polysulfides and dendrites that would cause severe capacity fade.

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Hawaii study finds vehicle-to-grid discharge detrimental to EV batteries

May 15, 2017

Results of a study by a team at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, suggest that the additional cycling to discharge vehicle batteries to the power grid in a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) scenario, even at constant power, is detrimental to EV battery cell performance. This additional use of the battery packs could shorten the lifetime for vehicle use to less than five years, the researchers said in a paper published in the Journal of Power Sources.

By contrast, the researchers found that delaying the grid-to-vehicle (G2V) charge in order to reduce the impact on the power grid had a negligible impact on the cells at room temperature, but could be significant in warmer climates.

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Team develops electroplating method for Li-ion cathode production; high performance and new form factors, functionalities

May 13, 2017

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation and Nanjing University in China have developed a method for electroplating lithium-ion battery cathodes, yielding high-quality, high-performance battery materials that could also enable flexible and solid-state batteries.

In an open-access paper in the journal Science Advances, the team reports using a low-temperature (260 °C) molten salt electrodeposition approach directly to electroplate the Li-ion cathode materials layered LiCoO2, spinel LiMn2O4, and Al-doped LiCoO2. The crystallinities and electrochemical capacities of the electroplated oxides are comparable to those of the powders synthesized at much higher temperatures (700° to 1000°C). The researchers said that the new growth method significantly broadens the scope of battery form factors and functionalities, enabling a variety of highly desirable battery properties, including high energy, high power, and unprecedented electrode flexibility.

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Researchers show simple addition of quartz powder to Li-S electrolyte slows capacity loss

May 09, 2017

Materials researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland have, in collaboration with the Université Grenoble Alpes (France), developed a simple method that can improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries by 25-30%. In a study published in the journal Nature Energy, the team reported that the additional of silicon dioxide (SiO2, quartz) powder to the liquid electrolyte slows the rapid capacity loss that can plague lithium-sulfur batteries.

The lithium-sulfur battery is considered a promising candidate for future high-energy storage devices. The materials required are inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and readily available, and the battery theoretically can deliver around three times as much energy as today’s widely used lithium-ion battery. In practice, however, there are still several hurdles. For example, the lithium-sulfur battery rapidly loses capacity with repeated charging. Present-day prototypes manage far fewer charging cycles than conventional lithium-ion batteries – and besides that, they deliver only a fraction of the theoretically possible energy.

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NREL licenses Li-ion battery technology to Forge Nano; enhanced safety, durability, and lifetime

May 08, 2017

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Forge Nano to commercialize NREL’s patented battery materials and systems capable of operating safely in high-stress environments. A particular feature of the technology is the encapsulation of materials with solid electrolyte coatings that can be designed to meet the increasingly demanding needs of any battery application.

These lithium-ion batteries feature a hybrid solid-liquid electrolyte system, in which the electrodes are coated with a solid electrolyte layer. This layer minimizes the potential for the formation of an internal short circuit between electrodes to prevent “thermal runaway,” or the uncontrolled increase in battery cell temperature that can result in a fire or an explosion.

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Umicore to invest €300M to boost capacity in NMC cathode materials for high-energy Li-ion batteries

Umicore will invest €300 million (US$328 million) between 2017 and 2019 to further increase its production of NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) cathode materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. NMC is a preferred cathode material technology for rechargeable batteries used in vehicle electrification and global demand is increasing fast.

Umicore said the demand for its NMC materials is outpacing the market by a significant margin and the increased capacity will enable Umicore to cater for a surge in customer orders. The investment will also enable Umicore to meet growing demand for its proprietary high-energy LCO (lithium cobalt oxide) cathode materials used in high-end consumer electronics.

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Saft team develops first metal hydride - sulfur Li-ion battery

May 05, 2017

Researchers at France-based battery major Saft, along with colleagues at Université Paris Est, have, for the first time, used a nanocomposite metal hydride as the anode in a complete solid-state battery with a sulfur cathode and LiBH4 electrolyte.

The cell shows a high reversible capacity of 910 mAh g−1 with discharge plateaus at 1.8 V and 1.4 V. Capacity remains at 85% of the initial value over the 25 first charge/discharge cycles. A paper on their development is published in the Journal of Power Sources.

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DOE JCESR team significantly improves Li-S performance under lean electrolyte with soft swellable gel

May 02, 2017

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Sandia National Laboratories, all members of the DOE’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), have significantly improved the performance of Li-sulfur batteries under lean electrolyte conditions by using a soft PEO10LiTFSI polymer swellable gel as a nanoscale reservoir to trap the polysulfides. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Li-sulfur batteries are looked to as a likely next-generation higher energy density energy storage system due to the high theoretical capacity, low cost and high earth abundance of sulfur. The system faces barriers to commercialization, however, including degradation of the Li-metal anode, polysulfide dissolution and electrolyte decomposition.

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Cornell team offers prospect for more stable Li-air battery with ionomer SEIs

May 01, 2017

Lithium-air (Li-O2) batteries are among the nost energy-dense electrochemical platforms for mobile energy storage, and are thus considered promising for electrified transportation. A number of severe challenges with the system need to be overcome first, however. These practical shortcomings include poor rechargeability, reduced efficiency due to high overpotentials (more charge energy than discharge energy) and specific energies well below theoretical expectations.

Now, researchers in the lab of Lynden Archer, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Robert F. Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at Cornell University, are proposing a design approach that may provide a promising platform for addressing these three major technical barriers to practical Li-O2 cells. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Science Advances.

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PNNL, GM team develops design principle for stable silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries

April 28, 2017

A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with colleagues from General Motors R&D, has developed a design principle for stable high-capacity Li-ion battery silicon (Si) anodes of controlled thickness swelling, and synthesized a porous Si/C-graphite electrode as an example.

Experimental data from the porous Si/C-graphite electrode showed excellent agreement with the theoretical design. The practical electrode (~3 mAh/cm2 loading) with ~650 mAh/g specific capacity had ~82% capacity retention over 450 cycles. The initial electrode swelling upon full lithiation is <20%. The calendered electrodes demonstrated ~56% end-of-life swelling and ~90% capacity retention after 200 cycles. A full-cell of Li(NiMnCo)O2 and the pre-lithiated anode demonstrated >84% capacity retention over 300 cycles. A paper on the work is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science.

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Navy researchers boost performance of Ni-Zn cells commensurate with Li-ion; safer alternative

Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Chemistry Division have demonstrated that the use of zinc formed into three-dimensional sponges for use as an anode boosts the performance of nickel–zinc alkaline cells in three areas: (i) > 90% theoretical depth of discharge (DODZn) in primary (single-use) cells; (ii) > 100 high-rate cycles at 40% DODZn at lithium-ion–commensurate specific energy; and (iii) the tens of thousands of power-demanding duty cycles required for start-stop microhybrid vehicles.

Joseph Parker, Jeffrey Long, and Debra Rolison from NRL’s Advanced Electrochemical Materials group are leading the effort to create an entire family of safer, water-based, zinc batteries. With 3-D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium. The research appears in the journal Science.

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Volkswagen introduces new Coasting 2.0 micro hybrid system and new natural gas engine at Vienna Motor Symposium

April 27, 2017

At the 38th Vienna Motor Symposium Volkswagen is introducing a new, more fuel-efficient “Coasting - Engine off” micro hybrid system—which shuts off the engine completely—as well as a new, compact three-cylinder natural gas engine for the Polo.

Volkswagen is also highlighting its spectrum of efficiency and electrification solutions all the way to further optimized battery-powered propulsion as in the new e-Golf and the coming new MEB-based electric vehicles exemplified by its series of I.D. concepts.

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Sendyne introduces first isolation monitor for EVs and HEVs capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during dynamic operation

Sendyn, a provider of technologies for battery system management including current, voltage and temperature measurement ICs and modules (earlier post), has introduced the SIM100, a new type of automotive-rated isolation monitoring safety device that is capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during the dynamic operation of high-voltage unearthed systems—such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

The SIM100 module is the first device of its kind capable of unambiguously detecting the electrical isolation state of a high-voltage system while the system is active and operating, and experiencing large voltage variations. State-of-the-art technology today is limited to detecting only resistive leakages and only when the system voltage does not vary significantly. In another first, the SIM100 detects both resistive leakages and capacitively stored energy that could be harmful to human operators.

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PNNL team uncovers reaction mechanisms of Li-air batteries; how batteries blow bubbles

Lithium-air batteries are looked to by many as a very high-energy density next-generation energy storage solution for electric vehicles. However, the technology has several holdups, including losing energy as it stores and releases its charge.The reaction mechanisms are, in general, not well understood.

One reaction that hasn’t been fully explained is how oxygen blows bubbles inside a lithium-air battery when it discharges. The bubbles expand the battery and create wear and tear that can cause it to fail. Now, researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have provided the first step-by-step explanation of how lithium-air batteries form bubbles. The paper is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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New high-power, fast-charging, safe and long-life Li-ion battery

April 25, 2017

Researchers from Sweden, Italy and Germany have proposed and demonstrated a novel full Li-ion cell that is able to cycle for thousands of cycles at 1000 mAg−1 with a capacity retention of 65% at cycle 2000.

The cell uniquely combines a nanostructured TiO2-based anode with a tailored 1-D tubular morphology; a LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4-based cathode (LNMO) with a finely tuned stoichiometry and a surface layer obtained through a single-stage, simple, cheap and easy-scalable mechanochemical milling route followed by high temperature annealing in air; and a composite liquid electrolyte formed by a mixture of LiPF6, ethylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate and Py1,4PF6 ionic liquid. An open access paper on the work is published in Scientific Reports.

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DOE SBV Pilot selects 38 small business for labs partnerships; 2 fuel cell and 4 vehicle projects

April 24, 2017

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot has selected eight DOE national labs for collaborations with 38 small businesses in the third round of funding. Among these are two projects in the fuel cells area and four projects in the vehicle area. Other projects address advanced manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, geothermal, solar, water and wind technologies.

In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. With the latest announcement, SBV will have awarded approximately $22 million to support partnerships between 114 US small businesses and the national labs.

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UC Riverside team fabricates nanosilicon anodes for Li-ion batteries from waste glass bottles

April 23, 2017

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to fabricate nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

Coin cell batteries made using the glass bottle-based silicon anodes greatly outperformed traditional batteries in laboratory tests. Carbon-coated glass derived-silicon (gSi@C) electrodes demonstrated excellent electrochemical performance with a capacity of ~1420 mAh g-1 at C/2 rate after 400 cycles. An open access paper describing the research was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

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Aqua Metals acquires Ebonex IPR and its bipolar ceramic lead-acid battery technology; less lead, lighter weight

April 18, 2017

Aqua Metals, which is commercializing a non-polluting electrochemical lead recycling technology called AquaRefining (earlier post), has acquired UK-based Ebonex IPR Limited for 123,776 shares of Aqua Metals common stock and $100,000 in cash. Ebonex is a pre-revenue IP-based company that has developed patented technology in the field of advanced materials and manufacturing methods for advanced lead acid batteries.

Aqua Metals says that Ebonex’s advanced materials have the potential to advance lead acid chemistry with higher energy density, increased cycle life and faster charging.  If successful, this could mean high performance lead acid batteries that can be distributed through existing closed loop supply chains and then fully recycled.

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UC Riverside team develops new coating strategy for Li-metal anodes to prevent dendrite formation

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside has developed an approach to addressing the vexing problem of dendrite formation that hobbles the use of high energy density lithium-metal anodes in advanced recyclable batteries.

The new universal strategy, described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials, uses in situ formation of an interfacial coating with methyl viologen to achieve stable cycling of lithium metal anode. After treating the lithium metal layer with 0.5 wt % methyl viologen in the ether electrolyte, a highly uniform, stable, and ionically conductive interfacial coating can be formed on the surface because of the electrochemical reduction. The coating layer can generate better control of the lithium ion flow and suppress the lithium dendrite growth and therefore form a uniform and stable solid electrolyte interphase.

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GE and SCE unveil first battery-gas turbine hybrid system

GE and Southern California Edison (SCE) unveiled the first battery-gas turbine hybrid system in Norwalk, California: the LM6000 Hybrid Electric Gas Turbine (Hybrid EGT). The hybrid system, the first of two to be deployed at SCE sites, was developed in response to changing regulations and grid requirements in the wake of the devastating gas leak from California’s Aliso Canyon storage facility and will ultimately support increasing renewable energy capacity on the California grid.

This hybrid system supports SCE’s increasing renewable energy capacity by providing quick start, fast ramping capabilities when they are needed. The unit integrates a 10 MW, 4.3 MWh Li-ion battery energy storage system, capable of immediately providing power with GE’s proven 50MW LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine, which offers 56% combined cycle efficiency.

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New prototype rechargeable lithium-nitrogen battery

April 16, 2017

As the most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen has been an attractive option as a source of renewable energy. But nitrogen gas—which consists of two nitrogen atoms held together by a strong, triple covalent bond—doesn’t break apart under normal conditions, presenting a challenge to scientists who want to transfer the chemical energy of the bond into electricity.

Now, researchers in China have developed a rechargeable lithium-nitrogen (Li-N–) battery with the proposed reversible reaction of 6Li + N– ⇋ 2Li–N. The assembled N– fixation battery system, consisting of a Li anode, ether-based electrolyte, and a carbon cloth cathode, shows a promising electrochemical faradic efficiency (59%).

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Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso to form JV to produce automotive Li-ion battery packs in India

April 14, 2017

Suzuki Motor Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and Denso Corporation have reached basic agreement on establishing a joint venture company for production of automotive lithium-ion battery packs in India, and signed the agreement. The initial capital expenditure will be ¥20 billion (US$184 million). The joint venture company will be capitalized at ¥2 billion (US$18.4 million), with the planned participation ratio of Suzuki 50%, Toshiba 40% and Denso 10% respectively.

The battery pack manufacturing joint venture by the three companies will provide a stable supply of lithium-ion battery packs in India. The joint venture company will be established within 2017 and will move to manufacturing phase at earliest possible timing.

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UK APC awards US$77M to seven low-carbon transportation R&D projects

April 11, 2017

The UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has awarded £62 million (US$77 million) from its sixth round of funding to projects led by BMW Motorsport, New Holland Agriculture, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, Penso Consulting, Ford Motor Company and Westfield Sportscars, to develop innovative low carbon transportation technology in the UK.

Projects cover a wide range of innovations, which will are intended to help the UK to become a global leader in low emissions technology. They include the development of an affordable hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, such as autonomous pods, as well as a project to address significant gaps in the UK electrification supply chain. Projects include:

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Report: Hyundai developing solid-state EV batteries itself

April 08, 2017

Citing “sources close to the matter,” the Korea Herald reports that Hyundai Motor is developing solid-state batteries for its electric vehicles, and has established pilot-scale production facilities.

“Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology,” the source told The Korea Herald.

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New bio-inspired macro-meso-microporous material offers significant improvement in battery performance

April 07, 2017

A international team of researchers has emulated biological systems and designed multi-scale macro–meso–microporous materials which offer a unique performance boost for applications benefitting from highly enhanced mass transfer and exchange. Examples include photocatalysis, gas sensing and as Li-ion battery electrodes. An open access paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Communications.

The materials deliver 5-, 25- or 40-fold increases in reaction rates compared to unimodal mesoporous materials, when used as photocatalysts, gas sensors or electrodes for Li-ion batteries, respectively.They obtained superior rate capability (∼870 mAh g−1 at 20 A g−1) and high reversible capacity—25 times higher than that of state-of-the-art Li-ion anodes at a similar rate.

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A123: Increasing 48V battery power up to ~25 kW enables advanced mild hybrid capabilities with greater fuel savings

April 06, 2017

In a paper presented at SAE WCX 2017 this week in Detroit, engineers at Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems conclude that 48V battery packs with strong power (up to ~25 kW) and HEV-level energy capabilities (<200Wh for most scenarios) are needed to enable advanced mild hybird (MHEV) capabilities, with optimal power-to-energy ratios between 30 and 160.

Improving battery power to such as level would further enable hybridization to near-HEV levels as well as engine downsizing, thereby enabling fuel economy improvements beyond the current 10-15% MHEV limit. Additionally, new electrified features could be added, such as electric turbo/supercharging, electric traction, electric power steering, electric suspension and electric air conditioning. To address these needs, the A123 team presented a high-power, lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry with excellent rate capabilities.

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Ford favoring bulk-type solid-state battery for next-gen energy storage

April 05, 2017

Ford is exploring a variety of “beyond Li-ion” solutions, including Lithium-sulfur, Lithium-air and solid-state lithium-ion batteries. Of those, Ford is currently favoring a solid-state solution for several reasons, among them the better volumetric energy density this approach offers, said Ford engineer Venkat Anandan in a presentation at SAE WCX 17 in Detroit this week.

A Li-air battery, with its air cathode, is a low-cost system, Anandan said. It also offers a high theoretical specific energy density. Because the technology is similar to that of fuel cells, some of the design and engineering work that has already gone into fuel cells could be adapted for Li-air, he said. However, key drawbacks to the Li-air system are its relatively low practical energy density, low cycle life and the complexity of the system, Anandan said.

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