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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


DOE proposes $99M for Energy Frontier Research Centers in FY 2018

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a proposed $99 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate transformative scientific advances for the most challenging topics in materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences. (DE-FOA-0001810) Since their establishment by DOE’s Office of Science in... Read more →


Samsung researchers develop graphene balls for high-capacity electrode materials with fast charging

A Korean team led by researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) has developed “graphene balls”—graphene-silica 3D assemblies—that can be uniformly coated onto a nickel-rich layered cathode (LiNi0.6Co0.1Mn0.3O2). The graphene-ball coating improves cycle life and fast charging capability by protecting the electrode surface from detrimental side reactions and... Read more →


JCESR team advances prospects of solid-state magnesium-ion batteries with discovery of fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step towards making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe. Using ab initio calculations, nuclear magnetic resonance, and impedance spectroscopy measurements,... Read more →


Researchers at Empa and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have developed a prototype of a novel solid-state sodium battery with the potential to store extra energy and with improved safety. With a NaCrO2 cathode, closo-borate solid electrolyte and metallic sodium anode, the cell demonstrated reversible and stable cycling with a... Read more →


BMW Group investing €200M over four years in new Battery Competence Center; Gen 5 electric drivetrain in 2021; 700 km range

The BMW Group will invest €200 million (US$233 million) over the next four years in its new BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich. This interdisciplinary competence center aims to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes; the center will open in early 2019. In the... Read more →


Integrated solar-driven system for electrochemical energy storage and water electrolysis for H2 production

A team from UCLA and colleagues from Tarbiat Modares University and Shahed University in Iran have devised an integrated solar-powered system for both electrochemical energy storage and water electrolysis. They synthesized a nickel-cobalt-iron layered double hydroxide (Ni-Co-Fe LDH) on a nickel foam substrate using a fast, one-step electrodeposition approach. The... Read more →


Connected Energy leads research collaboration to extend value-chain of second-life EV batteries

Connected Energy, a UK provider of site-integrated energy storage solutions, is heading a £1.3-million (US$1.7-million) research collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, WMG at University of Warwick and Videre Global to establish key components of a second-life battery value chain. The project is co-funded by an Innovate UK grant, awarded in... Read more →


In a new study published in the journal Nano Energy, researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provide in-depth insight into the electrochemically induced surface reaction processes on iron anodes in concentrated alkaline electrolyte in iron-air batteries. Using in-situ electrochemical atomic force microscopy (in-situ EC-AFM)... Read more →


PPG partners with SiNode Systems to commercialize high-energy silicon-graphene anodes

PPG has entered into a partnership with SiNode Systems to accelerate the commercialization of high-energy silicon-graphene anode materials for advanced battery applications in electric vehicles. The 30-month project will enable the partners to rapidly develop and demonstrate anode materials that will store more energy than conventional lithium-ion battery materials, enabling... Read more →


Akasol opens €10M, 600 MWh production facility for commercial electric vehicle batteries

Akasol announced the opening of a new semi-automated production facility for high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for commercial vehicles. The company has invested €10 million (US$11.8 million) into the new commercial plant at Langen, and may double that investment as demand increases. Akasol has begun serial production at the facility, which,... Read more →


Fisker’s scientists, including a co-founder of solid-state battery start-up Sakti3 (acquired by Dyson, earlier post), filed patents this week (under a non-publication request) on flexible, superior energy density solid-state batteries. The patent includes claims over novel materials and manufacturing processes that are critical in achieving the required energy density, power... Read more →


Automobili Lamborghini, a member of the Volkswagen Group, unveiled its new design concept for a future Lamborghini electric super sports car: the “Lamborghini of the Terzo Millennio”, developed in collaboration with two MIT laboratories. The technological goal of the project is to enable Lamborghini to address the future of the... Read more →


Volkswagen Group, Google partnering on quantum computing; traffic optimization, batteries, AI

The Volkswagen Group and Google will partner on research in the field of quantum computing. The two companies will explore the utilization of quantum computers together, with aims to build up specialist knowledge and to carry out practically oriented research. As part of this collaboration, a team of specialists from... Read more →


Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) have discovered a new oxide-ion conductor SrYbInO4 with a CaFe2O4-type structure. SrYbInO4 is the first example of a CaFe2O4-type pure oxide-ion conductors in which the oxide-ion conduction is dominant. This new material, described in a... Read more →


Enevate Corporation, developer of a silicon-dominant composite anode material and high energy density batteries (earlier post), has introduced HD-Energy Technology for Electric Vehicles (EVs); the high energy-density cells support extreme fast-charging. Enevate’s silicon Li-ion battery technology in EV cells (NCM-based) can be charged in 5 minutes at up to a... Read more →


Johnson Controls introducing 11 new AGM battery group sizes to meet vehicle electrical demand

To meet the increasing electrical demand in modern cars (which can have more than 150 electrical devices to meet consumer and industry requirements for safety, comfort and sustainability), Johnson Controls Power Solutions will introduce 11 new Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery group sizes at the 2017 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo... Read more →


UT Austin team develops new family of high-capacity anode materials: Interdigitated Eutectic Alloys

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new family of anode materials that can double the charge capacity of lithium-ion battery anodes. The new family of anode materials, which the researchers dubbed the Interdigitated Eutectic Alloy (IdEA) anode, also saves... Read more →


LeydenJar Technologies BV, a spin-out from Dutch energy research center ECN, has produced a pouch-cell prototype Li-ion cell using the pure silicon anode technology developed at ECN. ECN says that its technology can increase the storage capacity of rechargeable Li-ion batteries by 50%; LeydenJar was incorporated to bring the technology... Read more →


VCU team proposes “super-LRAP” solid electrolyte with performance comparable to liquid electrolytes for solid-state Li-ion batteries

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have devised a new lithium superionic conductor with Li+ conductivity comparable with that of the organic liquid electrolytes. In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that cluster-based lithium superionic conductors can have very high conductivities of 10−2 to... Read more →


BMW Group adopts new approaches for a more sustainable battery cell supply chain; focus on cobalt

Cobalt is one of the key components in production of electrified vehicles and is used in significant quantities in high-voltage batteries for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The challenge facing companies that work with cobalt as a raw material is that risks related to environmental standards and human rights cannot... Read more →


Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first atomic-level images of dendrites that can pierce the barrier between battery compartments and trigger short circuits or fires. Dendrites and the problems they cause have been a major barrier to developing new, high... Read more →


In conjunction with its partner, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., the BMW Group opened a new “High-Voltage Battery Center” in Shenyang, China. The battery factory will supply the nearby Dadong plant, which is operated by the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) joint venture and will produce the BMW 5 Series Plug-in... Read more →


Berkeley Lab and Hydro-Québec partner on transportation electrification and energy storage

Hydro-Québec and the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have agreed to explore collaborations toward the research and development of manufacturing and scale-up technology to advance transportation electrification and energy storage. The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to assess the feasibility of... Read more →