Siemens and Northvolt, a company working to build a European Li-ion gigafactory with 32 GWh of battery capacity (earlier post), are partnering for the development of best-in-class technology to produce high-quality lithium-ion batteries. The partnership, which will be supported by Siemens through an investment of €10 million (US$11.7 million); after... Read more →


Salar de Uyuni in the Andes in southwestern Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat (10,582 km2 / 4,086 mi2) and holds the world’s largest known deposit of lithium. The Bolivian state is creating a value chain to use the deposits of this raw material for industrial purposes. The state-owned... Read more →


BP invests in ultra-fast charging battery company StoreDot

BP Ventures has invested $20 million in Israel-based ultra-fast charging battery developer StoreDot. (Earlier post.) StoreDot has developed a lithium ion-based battery technology which enables ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. Using this technology, StoreDot is also developing a new type of electric-car battery that will aim to... Read more →


Exoès and Saft partner to improve Li-ion battery thermal management

Organic Rankine Cycle specialist Exoès and Saft Incubator have signed a cooperation agreement to do common tests to improve next generation battery thermal management. The temperature of a Li-ion battery has a major influence on its performance and its lifespan. Harsh climatic environments and severe solicitations can rapidly degrade cells... Read more →


Roskill: graphite prices could push higher on tightening markets for batteries & electrodes

Synthetic graphite electrode prices rose nine-fold through the first three quarters of 2017, increasing from US$1,748/t in January 2017 to a high of US$16,309/t in September, according to Roskill Information Services. Despite some fallback during the winter months, prices remained above US$15,600/t through February and March 2018. Spot prices were... Read more →


Hydro-Québec grants an exploitation license and partners with Nouveau Monde Graphite to develop materials for Li-ion batteries

Hydro-Québec (HQ) and Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG) have signed a license and a research and development agreements respecting the processing of graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries. The partners hope that this collaboration will enable NMG to commercialize battery material technologies developed by HQ over the past 30 years. The... Read more →


Tianqi Lithium takes $4.07B stake in world’s largest lithium producer SQM

China-based Tianqi Lithium, a leading global supplier of lithium products, has agreed to purchase 62,556,568 A shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM)—the world’s largest lithium producer—held by Nutrien for consideration of $65 per share in cash. The announced transaction represents the entirety of Nutrien’s A shares... Read more →


Freudenberg invests in fuel cell and battery technologies

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, one of the world’s leading specialists in sealing technologies for the auto industry, has strengthened its position in the energy and electric mobility sectors with an acquisition and a strategic investment. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies believes electric vehicles will reach significant production volumes by 2025; however, even as... Read more →


Kokam deploys 30 MW, 11.4 MWh energy storage system in Australia

Kokam Co., Ltd, successfully deployed for Alinta Energy, a leading Australian utility, a 30-megawatt (MW) system / 11.4-megawatt hour (MWh) Energy Storage System (ESS), the largest lithium-ion battery deployed for industrial application in Australia. The ESS features Kokam’s high power Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide battery technology, and is... Read more →


ION Energy, a startup energy storage company, launched UDYR, an intelligent, modular and portable 48V, 32 Ah lithium-ion battery supported by ION’s proprietary battery management system, software platform, and backend analytics. UDYR is built with NMC cells from LG Chem. The battery is natively compatible with most electric two-wheelers and... Read more →


Akasol is introducing its first cylindrical-cells battery system with very high energy density (221 Wh/kg) at The Battery Show Europe this week. AKAModule 60 CYC allows building high-energy battery systems thanks to its modular structure. This enables long distance journeys for commercial vehicles such as intercity coaches, buses and trucks... Read more →


Maxwell Technologies is putting the lifetime value of its recently announced deal to provide ultracapacitor-based subsystems to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely), the parent company of leading brands such as Volvo and Geely Auto (earlier post), at $100 million. Under the deal, Maxwell will provide multi-cell ultracapacitor subsystems with power... Read more →


The Nikkei reports that Chinese automotive battery maker CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd.) will provide lithium-ion batteries to Nissan Motor and Renault. CATL will produce batteries for Nissan’s Sylphy Zero Emission electric sedan (earlier post), scheduled to hit the Chinese market in the latter half of the year. This marks... Read more →


Purdue engineers have used upcycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic to boost the lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries. They first prepared porous sulfonated carbon (PSC) from LDPE plastic via microwave-promoted sulfonation. The microwave process not only boosts the sulfonation reaction of LDPE but also induces huge amounts of pores within the sulfonated... Read more →


Geely/Volvo awards Maxwell Technologies with ultracapacitor subsystem design win for 2020 model year platforms; mild- and plug-in hybrids

Maxwell Technologies, a leading developer and manufacturer of capacitive energy storage and power delivery solutions, announced a technology partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely), the parent company of leading brands such as Volvo and Geely Auto. The partnership focuses on the integration of state-of-the-art ultracapacitors and advanced power conversion... Read more →


ViriCiti and Fraunhofer report on prolonging battery life of electric buses and trucks

The Fraunhofer institute for Transportation and Infrastructure IVI, expert in the field of lithium-ion batteries, and real-time electric vehicle data specialist ViriCiti have been collaborating to prolong battery life and lower total cost of ownership of electric buses and trucks. Over the past months, they researched how battery life can... Read more →


New program in Japan to push development of solid-state batteries

The Nikkei reports that Leading Japanese manufacturers have teamed up with the government in a program to develop solid-state batteries. The new program teams the Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (Libtec) with companies such as Toyota Motor and Panasonic. To support the program, Japan’s Ministry of... Read more →


Agility Fuel Solutions and Romeo Power Technology partner to provide high-performance, modular battery packs for commercial vehicles

Agility Fuel Solutions, a leading global provider of clean fuel solutions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and Romeo Power Technology, an energy storage technology company founded by engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Amazon and Samsung, are partnering for the production of high-performance, modular battery packs for commercial vehicles.... Read more →


DOE to award $68.5M for advanced vehicle technologies research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $68.5 million for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. (DE-FOA-0001919) This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research projects to address priorities in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road... Read more →


Researchers at the Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology & Engineering in China have developed new hybrid electrolytes to support high-voltage Li-ion batteries (e.g., ~5 volts) by incorporating a liquid electrolyte with silane-Al2O3 nanoparticles (Al2O3-ST for short). The result combines the merits of both solid and liquid electrolytes. In a paper... Read more →


DOE awarding $19M to 12 projects for advanced battery and electrification research to enable extreme fast charging

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19 million in funding to 12 cost-shared research projects focused on batteries and vehicle electrification technologies to enable extreme fast charging. (DE-FOA-0001808, earlier post.) Selected research projects are focused on developing electric vehicle systems that can recharge rapidly at high power levels,... Read more →


Northvolt progressing towards European battery Gigafactory

Aspiring European battery gigafactory developer Northvolt (earlier post) has begun the the construction of Northvolt Labs. Once completed in 2019, the scale-up and research facility will be used to develop, test and industrialize lithium-ion battery cells before large-scale production. The facility will enable fully process representative manufacturing and allow a... Read more →


Researchers at Zhejiang University of Technology in China have fabricated magnesium borate (of the form Mg2B2O5) nanowire-enabled poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-based solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) for solid-state lithium-ion batteries (SSLIBs). As reported in their paper in the ACS journal Nano Letters, these SSEs have enhanced ionic conductivity and a large electrochemical window.... Read more →


The “classic” high-energy capacity Lithium-sulfur battery is predicated on the use of a sulfur-based cathode and a Lithium-metal anode. Among the issues hampering the commercialization of this attractive technology are the safety and performance issues associated with the use of the lithium-metal anode. Accordingly, a number of different approaches have... Read more →


Alberta publishes report assessing non-combustion uses for bitumen, opens $2M call for projects

Alberta Innovates, in partnership with industry, government and other organizations, recently released the results of a study that investigates the best opportunities for “Bitumen Beyond Combustion” (BBC). Following a 2017 report that identified potential products that could be made from Alberta oil sands bitumen, this new study identifies the top... Read more →


CCM: Shanghai Energy investing US$790M to construct world’s largest Li-ion wet process separator production base

China will account for more than 60% of the world’s production of wet-process separators for Li-ion batteries, with more than 10 billion square meters capacity, according to China-based market intelligence firm CCM. Now, Shanghai Energy, the largest supplier in the country, will build the largest production base, strengthening China’s leading... Read more →


Roskill: record cobalt deals in Q1 2018 show raw material procurement for Li-ion batteries revving up

Given the rapid development of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery industry, analysts are predicting that industry requirements for lithium and graphite could increase five-fold within the next decade while other metals such as nickel and cobalt are expected to increase nine-fold and four-fold, respectively, reflecting changes in cathode chemistry, according to... Read more →


Lithium Australia (LIT) has finalized its acquisition of advanced cathode material production technology, acquiring 99.7% of the equity in Brisbane-based Very Small Particle Company (VSPC). The VSPC facility is a 2 to 4 tonnes-per-annum pilot plant that incorporates an integrated laboratory, coin-cell production facility and battery-testing equipment. Cathode powder producer... Read more →


Researchers at Tongji University (China), with colleagues at Zhengzhou Yutong Bus and HeFei University of Technology, have developed a multi-mode energy management strategy for electric vehicles with a fuel cell range extender based on driving pattern identification using a learning vector quantization (LVQ) neural network algorithm. This multi-mode strategy can... Read more →


Researchers led by a team at UC Berkeley have demonstrated high-capacity manganese-rich cathodes for advanced lithium-ion batteries. The work, reported in the journal Nature, shows a possible design approach for cathode materials that move away from the current reliance on nickel and cobalt—which are limited resources and are associated with... Read more →


Researchers at Tsinghua University in China have used ultrathin and lightweight molybdenum sulfide (MoS2)/carbon nanotube (CNT) interlayers to trap polysulfides in high-performance lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. An electrode with the MoS2/CNT interlayer delivers an attractive specific capacity of... Read more →


LG Chem, Huayou Cobalt to form 2 JVs in China; precursors & cathodes for EV batteries; supporting 400K EV packs/year

LG Chem will form two joint ventures with China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt to secure supplies of cobalt for Li-ion batteries. Huayou Cobalt is the world’s largest producer of refined cobalt, delivering 20,000 tons in 2017. LG Chem will invest KRW 239.4 billion (USD 224 million) by 2020 to establish two... Read more →


Volkswagen Braunschweig has been awarded the contract to further the development and production of battery systems for the Modular Electric Drive Modular System (MEB). In the future, the plant will produce up to half a million battery systems per year for the electric vehicles of the Volkswagen brand and other... Read more →


Imec produces prototype solid-state Li-ion battery with 200 Wh/L; solid electrolyte applied as a liquid

Imec, a global research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, has fabricated an innovative type of solid-state Li-ion battery achieving an energy density of 200 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). The battery is a significant milestone on imec’s quest to surpass wet Li-ion... Read more →


BP selects Tesla batteries for pilot storage project at US wind farm

BP Wind Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Rolling Thunder I Power Partners LLC, has signed a purchase agreement to install a high-storage battery at its Titan 1 Wind Farm in South Dakota. The project is the first of its kind in BP’s US-operated wind business and a potential step forward... Read more →


Germany-based Akasol is manufacturing lithium-ion battery systems for Daimler subsidiary EvoBus. The leading European bus manufacturer plans to launch its new electric Citaro bus (earlier post) at the IAA Commercial Vehicles event in September. These buses will be fitted with up to ten of Akasol’s AKASYSTEM OEM battery packs (max.... Read more →


After first analyzing the role and underlying fundamental mechanisms of porous media in suppressing dendritic Li growth on Li metal anodes, a team of researchers from the US and China has synthesized a novel porous silicon nitride submicron-wire membrane and incorporated it in both half-cell and full-cell configurations to suppress... Read more →


Nemaska Lithium Inc. has entered into an investment agreement with SoftBank Group Corp. for a private placement of common share subscription receipts at a price of CAD 1.12 (USD 0.88) per receipt for aggregate gross proceeds of up to CAD 99,075,000 (USD 75,000,000). Under the investment agreement, SoftBank will acquire... Read more →


A research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an economical and industrially viable strategy to produce graphene. The new technique addresses the long-standing challenge of an efficient process for large-scale production of graphene, and paves the way for sustainable synthesis of the material. Graphene is... Read more →


Lignosulfonate, a sulfonated carbon waste material, is a major by-product in the papermaking industry. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have now developed a method to use this cheap and abundant waste byproduct to build a components for lithium-sulfur batteries. Reported in an open-access paper published in the RSC journal... Read more →


Magnesium offers a number of advantages over lithium for rechargeable batteries: it is safer and earth-abundant, and doubles the total charge per ion, delivering larger theoretical volumetric capacity compared with a typical lithium-ion battery. Further, in Mg batteries (MB) the anode is energy-dense Mg metal (~ 3,830  Ah  l−1)—surpassing the theoretical... Read more →


Researchers at Rensselaer have developed a new technique using heat to enable self-healing lithium-metal anodes to eliminate dangerous dendrite buildup, paving the way for higher energy density battery technologies. Despite their extremely high energy density, lithium (Li) metal electrodes are not currently deployable in commercial rechargeable batteries because electrochemical plating... Read more →


NASA and ARPA-E collaborate on iTech competition for transformational energy technologies

NASA iTech and the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) are collaborating on a unique iTech competition to identify transformational energy technologies that can improve energy generation, storage and distribution to the benefit of both space exploration and life on Earth. For the 2018 iTech Energy Cycle,... Read more →


Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have used two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) as a protective layer for Li-metal anodes, greatly improving the performances of Li–S batteries. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers report that such a use of MoS2 results in stable Li... Read more →


PNNL team develops new localized high-concentration electrolyte for high-voltage Li-metal batteries

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a novel localized high‐concentration electrolyte (HCE) that enables dendrite‐free cycling of lithium‐metal anodes with high Coulombic efficiency (99.5%) and excellent capacity retention (>80% after 700 cycles) of Li||LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 batteries. Unlike other HCEs developed earlier, the new PNNL electrolyte exhibits low concentration,... Read more →


KULR Technology has reached agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to be the exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner for the patented Internal Short Circuit (ISC) device which causes predictable battery cell failures in lithium-ion batteries, making them easier to study and, therefore, safer. Lithium-ion batteries provide power for... Read more →


Researchers led by a team from MIT, with colleagues from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), BMW Group, and Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a fundamentally new approach to alter ion mobility and stability against oxidation of lithium ion conductors—a key component of rechargeable batteries—using lattice dynamics. The new approach,... Read more →


With an eye toward balancing higher energy density batteries and fast charging capability, General Motors researchers Mark Verbrugge and Charles Wampler have derived and implemented a simple model to assist in evaluating factors such as cell performance, cost, life, and fast-charge capability in the design of electric vehicles. In a... Read more →


Roskill: Chinese companies step up their pursuit of lithium resources

China is stepping up its pursuit of control of the lithium supply chain, underpinned by the rapid growth of its lithium-ion battery industry building on agressive policy surrounding electric vehicle sales, according to metals and mining consultancy Roskill. One of China’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers, CATL, recently acquired North American... Read more →


SJTU team develops self-healing binder for silicon microparticle anodes

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have developed a polymer binder—PAA-P(HEA-co-DMA)—for use with silicon microparticle (SiMP) anodes. Its network structure and special self-healing capability not only provides enough mechanical support but also buffers the strain caused by the volume change of SiMPs. Thus, the cycle stability and rate performance... Read more →