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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.]

ORNL team proposes new electrode design to mitigate risk of battery failure in accidents; inspired by safety glass

December 14, 2017

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 the housing materials that commonly protect batteries in electric cars from mechanical damage, improving the overall energy density and cost.

The concept is based on introducing breakable electrodes that, upon impact, isolate the damaged part from the rest of the electrode to limit the current going through any short circuit. The new design in essence allows the large automotive cells used in most vehicles to fragment into many small batteries if damaged in a collision, explained Nancy Dudney, an author on the study and an energy storage researcher at the Materials Science and Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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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 scope of existing ARPA-E focused programs.

ARPA-E seeks to support early-stage, but potentially transformational research in all areas of energy R&D, covering transportation and stationary applications. Areas of research responsive to this FOA include (but are not limited to) electricity generation by both conventional and renewable means; electricity transmission, storage, and distribution; energy efficiency for buildings, manufacturing and commerce, and personal use; and all aspects of transportation, including the production and distribution of both renewable and non- renewable fuels, electrification, and energy efficiency in transportation.

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

December 13, 2017

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 membrane. In a paper in the journal Joule, they reported demonstrating stable Li plating/stripping for 2,500 hr at 1 mA cm-2 in symmetric cells, and efficient Li cycling at high current densities up to 8 mA cm-2. More than 400 cycles were achieved at 5-C rate in cells with a Li4Ti5O12 counter electrode at close to 100% coulombic efficiency. The increased energy density enabled by safely using a Li metal anode could significantly increase the range of electric vehicles.

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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 and expectations for electrified vehicles. In order to realize these objectives, Toyota and Panasonic will target further advancements in automotive batteries—such as solid-state batteries.

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

December 12, 2017

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 between charges.

However, most of these Li-rich materials suffer from voltage drop and capacity fading during cycling, thus limiting their use. Years of research have not been able to pin down why this occurs. Now, researchers from Stanford University, two Department of Energy national labs and the battery manufacturer Samsung have created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give these cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap their performance. The team’s open-access paper appears in Nature Communications.

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

December 06, 2017

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 and improvement of innovative batteries, electrocatalysts, photovoltaics and fuel cells. Through this fellowship, ECS and TRINA hope to see more innovative and unconventional technologies borne from electrochemical research. Areas of particular interest include:

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Volkswagen preps for I.D. EV production with MEB Supplier Summit; I.D. in 2019, I.D. CROZZ in 2020

December 04, 2017

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 at the Zwickau plant in Saxony. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen announced it will introduce a battery-electric SUV based on the I.D. CROZZ concept vehicle in the US in 2020. (Earlier post.)

At a workshop on the MEB held at the Los Angeles Show, Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer North American Region and Head of Product Strategy for Volkswagen Group of America, explained that the MEB follows the Groups’s existing platform strategy, but with a toolkit exclusively for battery electric vehicles. Among the attributes and components of the toolkit are:

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Graphene microsheet/sulfur cathodes for Li-S batteries deliver long-term cyclability and high coulombic efficiency

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 layers.

In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, the researchers report an average coulombic efficiency of 99.7% for Li-S batteries using the GMs/S cathodes, with long-term cyclability of 2000 cycles at 1C. The work suggests that graphene microsheets from micro-crystalline graphite minerals can be developed into high-stable and long-term lithium-sulfur batteries.

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

December 01, 2017

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 applied research was awarded to Dr. Stafford Sheehan for his excellent research in the area of new catalysts for renewable fuels.

Dr. Jennifer L. M. Rupp is Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA) and affiliated to ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Her research focuses on material and electrode designs for solid-state batteries.

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

November 30, 2017

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.

NCM cathode materials, composed of a unique combination of lithium and manganese-rich mixed metal oxides, are used for cost-effective high energy, safety and long-life batteries for many applications. Due to a very high degree of purity and excellent product characteristics, these materials are well-suited for evolving requirements of batteries in automotive drivetrains.

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

November 28, 2017

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 2009, the EFRCs have produced thousands of peer-reviewed scientific publications and continue to be an important asset to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) mission. DOE currently funds 36 EFRCs, 32 of which were selected for four-year funding in 2014. With support for those centers set to expire in July 2018, DOE has announced a competition for another round of funding.

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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 providing efficient conductive pathways.

The graphene balls can also serve as an anode material with high specific capacity of 716.2 mAh g-1. A full-cell incorporating graphene-balls increases the volumetric energy density by 27.6% compared to a control cell without graphene-balls, showing the possibility of achieving 800 Wh L-1 in a commercial cell setting, along with a high cyclability of 78.6% retention of the initial capacity after 500 cycles at 5C and 60 ˚C. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Communications.

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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, the researchers demonstrated that substantial magnesium ion mobility can be achieved in close-packed frameworks (~ 0.01–0.1  mS  cm-1 at 298 K)—specifically in magnesium scandium selenide spinel. The theoretical predictions also indicate that high magnesium ion mobility is possible in other chalcogenide spinels, opening the door for the realization of other magnesium solid ionic conductors and the eventual development of an all-solid-state magnesium battery. An open-access paper on their work appears in Nature Communications.

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Empa, UNIGE team develop prototype solid-state sodium battery; focus on improving the solid-solid interface

November 24, 2017

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 capacity of 85 mAh g-1 at C/20 and 80 mAh g-1 at C/5 with more than 90% capacity retention after 20 cycles at C/20 and 85% after 250 cycles at C/5. A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science.

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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 center’s research and prototyping facilities, specialist departments will analyze cell design and cell technology. They will also create prototypes of future battery cells, focusing on the chemical composition of the cells, use of different materials, how the cell behaves in critical or extremely cold conditions, charging and rapid-charging behaviour and evaluating cell sizes and forms.

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

November 21, 2017

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 Ni-Co-Fe LDH exhibited excellent electrochemical properties both as an active electrode material in supercapacitors, and as a catalyst in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) for water splitting. A paper on their work is published in the journal Energy Storage Materials.

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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 October.

Connected Energy is based in Newcastle upon Tyne with a technical center near Norwich. Its E-STOR energy storage technology (earlier post) will be adapted to integrate second-life Jaguar Land Rover batteries, with other work to be undertaken by WMG on the use of varied second-life battery modules. This approach will further increase Connected Energy’s knowledge base and performance of E-STOR systems.

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Jülich, ORNL researchers advance high energy density iron-air batteries

November 18, 2017

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) at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL, they were able to observe how deposits of iron hydroxide particles (Fe(OH)2) form at the iron electrode under conditions similar to those prevalent during charging and discharging. A deeper understanding of the charging and discharging reactions is viewed as the key for the further development of this type of rechargeable battery to market maturity.

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

November 16, 2017

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 electric vehicles to travel farther on a single charge or to have a lighter-weight battery.

In 2016, SiNode was selected among several competitors to receive a contract for the project from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), which is providing 50% of the project’s funding through the US Department of Energy. (Earlier post.) Project partners are funding the remaining 50%.

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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, with a capacity of 600 MWh, is now the largest assembly line for commercial vehicle battery systems in Europe. As recently announced, Akasol will supply its lithium-ion system to two leading European bus manufacturers in contracts to build approximately 10,000 buses within the next few years. (Earlier post.) Akasol currently also supplies technology and consulting to leading companies including VDL Bus & Coach, Alexander Dennis, Alstom, Bombardier and Bucher Municipal.

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Fisker files patents on solid-state battery technology; anticipating automotive-ready from 2023

November 13, 2017

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 and cost targets required for the widespread use of electric vehicles.

Fisker’s solid-state batteries will feature three-dimensional electrodes with 2.5 times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Fisker claims that this technology will enable ranges of more than 500 miles on a single charge and charging times as low as one minute—faster than filling up a gas tank. Fisker anticipates the technology to be automotive production grade ready from 2023 onwards.

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Lamborghini presents electric super sports car design concept, developed in collaboration with MIT labs

November 07, 2017

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 super sports car in five different dimensions: energy storage systems; innovative materials; propulsion system; visionary design; and emotion.

Two MIT labs—the Dinca Research Lab, led by Prof. Mircea Dinca, Department of Chemistry and the Mechanosynthesis Group, led by Prof. Anastasios John Hart, Department of Mechanical Engineering—are contributing to the development of the first two elements. The collaboration is substantially financed by Automobili Lamborghini and is intended to lead to radical innovation in energy storage systems technology and material science.

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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 Volkswagen and Google will work together using a Google quantum computer.

Volkswagen Group IT wants to make progress in three development areas on the Google quantum computer. The specialists intend to continue the development of traffic optimization; to explore structures for new materials, especially high-performance batteries for electric vehicles; and to work on artificial intelligence with new machine learning processes.

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Researchers discover new structure family of oxide-ion conductors: SrYbInO4

November 06, 2017

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 paper in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry C may lead to the development of new solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, sensors, and oxygen separation membranes.

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Enevate introduces its silicon-dominant Li-ion technology for EVs; extreme fast charging and high capacity

November 02, 2017

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 tested 10C charging rate to 75% capacity with energy densities of more than 750 Wh/L. Conventional graphite cells with lower capacities suffer significant degradation with extreme fast charging.

Enevate first introduced its HD-Energy Technology—a self-standing, silicon-dominant composite film anode with more than 70% silicon—in 2014, with an initial focus on smartphones, tablets, ultra-thin/hybrid notebook PCs, and wearable devices. (Earlier post.) Enevate licenses its silicon-dominant HD-Energy Technology to battery and EV automotive manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.

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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 (AAPEX) in Las Vegas.

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

November 01, 2017

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 time and materials by producing an anode using only two simple steps instead of the multiple steps traditionally required to mass-produce lithium-ion battery anodes. It is a simple, low-cost approach that can be applied to a broad range of alloy systems with various working ions such as Li, Na, or Mg.

The researchers created an aluminum-tin foil that is one-quarter of the thickness and half of the weight of the graphite and copper anodes used in virtually all lithium-ion batteries today. As a metallic foil, the IdEA anode does not require an external current collector, significantly reducing the fraction of inactive components. The IdEA anode in the study offers a fully realized capacity of 250 mAh g-1 for more than 150 cycles. By comparison, realized capacity in a graphite/copper composite anode is only ~ 150 mAh g-1.

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ECN’s spin-out company LeydenJar delivers prototype pouch-cell battery with pure silicon anode

October 31, 2017

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 to the market.

The nanostructured silicon anode features a silicon pillar porous structure enabling mechanical stability. The prototype cell has achieved 100 cycles at a constant capacity of 1.000 mAh/g. LeydenJar has also developed Li-ion coin cells that cycle at high capacities (between 1.000 – 2.000 mAh/g) with 400+ (on going) cycles.

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

October 29, 2017

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 more than 10−1 S/cm at room temperature; low activation energy under 0.210 eV; a giant band gap of 8.5 eV; and desired mechanical properties that entail great flexibility and can inhibit the growth of lithium dendrites.

In a lithium-ion battery, positive lithium ions flow between electrodes via electrolytes. Solid electrolytes offer greater safety, higher power, and higher energy densities; however, while lithium ions can flow freely through liquid-state electrolytes, they are less mobile in a solid-state electrolyte, which adversely affects conductivity.

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

October 27, 2017

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 be completely eliminated in cobalt mining.

The BMW Group has now set itself the goal of enhancing the transparency of its battery cell supply chain and exploring options for model projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Stanford, SLAC team uses cryo-EM for close-ups of Li dendrites down to the individual atom; new insights into battery failure

October 26, 2017

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 energy capacity batteries with Li metal anodes.

This is the first study to examine the inner lives of batteries with cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) a technique the ability of which to image delicate, flash-frozen proteins and other “biological machines” in atomic detail was honored with the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Their paper is published in the journal Science.

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BMW Brilliance Automotive opens battery factory in Shenyang; 3rd battery factory in BMW Group production network

October 24, 2017

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 Hybrid for the local market.

The new plant is the first battery factory of any premium automotive manufacturer in China and the third in the Group’s production network, after Germany and the US, said Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production.

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

October 23, 2017

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 creating a Québec Berkeley (QUBE) joint research center based in the San Francisco Bay Area that will speed up development of next-generation battery materials, processes, and methodologies and conduct manufacturing from pilot scale to pre-production levels. The technologies developed will be transferred to battery manufacturers, leading to job creation in Québec and California.

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JCESR team identifies new mechanism hampering Mg-ion batteries; unforeseen reactivity

Rechargeable magnesium batteries are of great interest as potential “beyond Li-ion” systems for extended electric vehicle range. Because magnesium is divalent, it can displace double the charge per ion (i.e., Mg2+ rather than Li+). As an element, magnesium is more abundant than lithium, and more stable. Toyota, for one, has been pursuing Mg batteries at the research level for a number of years. (Earlier post.) However, Mg-ion batteries have suffered from a number of limitations, among them being Mg anode/electrolyte incompatibility.

Now, a research team at the US Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has discovered a set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could be relevant to other battery materials, and could steer the design of next-generation batteries toward workarounds that avoid these newly identified pitfalls. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials.

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DOE to award up to $15M to projects to enable extreme fast charging

October 22, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $15 million in a newly released funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001808) to encourage the development of plug-in electric vehicle systems and batteries that can demonstrate the ability to recharge rapidly at high power levels. (Earlier post.)

This FOA includes two Areas of Interest: extreme fast charging (XFC) systems for electric vehicles and batteries for extreme fast charging.

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SF Motors to acquire EV battery module startup InEVit, headed by Martin Eberhard

October 20, 2017

SF Motors, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle (EV) company and subsidiary of Shanghai-based Sokon Industry Group, has acquired InEVit Inc., an electric vehicle (EV) battery modularization startup headed by former Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard.

InEVit has developed and patented a novel EV chassis architecture, battery module design innovations, and manufacturing techniques that it says will allow the EV industry to scale up the manufacturing of cost-and-feature-competitive vehicles rapidly. The pre-revenue company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SF Motors, and will continue to market and license its innovations to competitive vehicle OEMs.

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Bosch introduces new 48V Li-ion pack for mild-hybrids; production in 2018

October 19, 2017

Bosch has introduced a new 48-volt battery for mild hybrids; similar to the Bosch e-axle, this 48-volt battery is standardized for easy integration into new vehicle models. Established manufacturers and start-ups alike can thus eliminate long and expensive development processes. Bosch intends for this pack—along with its earlier work on mild hybrid systems (earlier post)—to position it as a leader in the burgeoning 48V mild-hybrid market.

The pack configuration is 12s1p with 8Ah, NMC/Graphite cells. Charge power is 13 kW, discharge power is 11 kW. Package weight is less than 7kg. Production of the battery is scheduled to start in late 2018.

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Penn State team devises new control strategy to enhance EV battery performance when driving in cold temperatures

October 18, 2017

Researchers at Penn State, with a colleague from EC Power, have devised a new control strategy that can rapidly restore EV battery power and permit full regeneration while driving at temperatures as low as −40 °C. The strategy involves heating the battery internally during regenerative braking and rest periods of driving.

In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they report that this technique fully restores room-temperature battery power and regeneration in 13, 33, 46, 56 and 112 seconds into uninterrupted driving in 0, −10, −20, −30 and −40 °C environments, respectively. Correspondingly, the strategy significantly increases cruise range of a vehicle operated at cold temperatures—49% at −40 °C in simulated US06 driving cycle tests. Based on their findings, the team suggests that smart batteries with embedded sensing/actuation can significantly improve their performance compared to more conventionally controlled counterparts.

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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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