The US Department of Energy (DOE) will renew the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Argonne National Laboratory and focused on advancing battery science and technology (earlier post). DOE plans annual funding for JCESR of $24 million, for a total of $120... Read more →

Audi unveiled its all-electric Audi e-tron mid-size SUV—its first fully electric production model—in an event in San Francisco. The Audi e-tron is a premium electric SUV designed for sport, family and leisure, and will enter the US market with a suggested retail price of $74,800, with initial arrival in the... Read more →

SLAC, Berkeley Lab X-rays uncover a hidden property that leads to failure in lithium iron phosphate

X-ray experiments at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have revealed that the pathways lithium ions take through lithium iron phosphate are more complex than previously thought. The results correct more than two decades worth of assumptions about the material and will help... Read more →

DOE awards $2.5M to UCSD team for work on cobalt-free cathode materials

The US Department of Energy awarded $2.5 million to a team led by the University of California San Diego for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies. The project is one of 42 projects totaling $80 million of investment from the DOE (earlier post) announced earlier this month. The project is... Read more →

Data and analytics company GlobalData forecasts that the demand for lithium needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries for use in EVs will more than double from 26.7kt in 2018 to 58.3kt in 2022. According to GlobalData, the global EV market is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR of... Read more →

Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group form automotive battery JV; Aston Martin launch customer

Two UK-based companies—Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group—have formed a new joint venture—Hyperbat Limited—to produce batteries for future hybrid and electric vehicles. The move has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as a significant step forward in the UK’s contribution to reducing... Read more →

Solid-state battery company Solid Power closes $20M in Series A; Hyundai, Samsung, A123 among investors

Solid Power, a developer of all solid-state batteries (ASSB), closed $20 million in a Series A investment round. The Series A funding will allow the company to scale-up production via a multi-MWh roll-to-roll facility, which will be fully constructed and installed by the end of 2018 and fully operational in... Read more →

Li-ion battery-maker Farasis Energy raises $1B+ to accelerate global automotive battery manufacturing expansion

Farasis Energy, a global developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion cells, modules and large battery systems, recently completed C-round financing exceeding 1 Billion US dollars. The compay will use the capital raised to accelerate the expansion of its global automotive battery manufacturing infrastructure. Presently, Farasis has two production bases in China:... Read more →

Although rechargeable lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries promise high energy density storage—particularly attractive for electric vehicle applications—the technology is currently limited by the shuttling polysulfides between the battery’s electrodes. Polysulfides deteriorate the lithium side of the battery and reduce its ability to hold charge. Now, Mohamed Alkordi at Zewail City of Science... Read more →

DOE selects 42 advanced vehicle technology research projects for $80 million in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 projects for $80 million in funding to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Selected projects cover the following areas: Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is awarding nearly $3 million to 13 projects to stimulate the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing. The US DOE national laboratories have some of the most significant high performance computing (HPC) resources available,... Read more →

New dual-salt electrolyte enables stable cycling of Li metal batteries

The use of lithium metal as an anode offers a range of benefits for those seeking rechargeable high-energy density systems: ultrahigh theoretical capacity (3860 mAh g−1); low density (0.59 g cm−3); and the most negative electrochemical potential (−3.040 V vs standard hydrogen electrode). However, viable application has been hampered by... Read more →

Chemists from the University of Waterloo have successfully resolved two of the most challenging issues surrounding lithium-oxygen batteries, and in the process created a working battery with near 100% coulombic efficiency. The new work, published in Science, shows that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The Waterloo team... Read more →

Low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries; it is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long time to charge fully—some 10 to 12 hours for a solid-state battery. Now, researchers at Jülich Forschungzentrum have introduced a new concept battery that... Read more →

Roskill: LG Chem locks-in more raw material to meet future Li-ion battery demand

South Korean lithium-ion battery (LIB) cell manufacturer LG Chem recently announced it will increase cell manufacturing capacity to 90 GWh in 2020 from a previous forecast of 70 GWh. Assuming 100% of output was to be NMC532, 90 GWh would require around 100kt of cathode, containing 40kt nickel, 22kt cobalt,... Read more →

High growth in demand for lithium batteries is spurring three-fold growth in mine production of lithium over the next four years, with 86kt of new lithium metal capacity coming on stream, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. After moderate growth in lithium supply between 2010 and 2017 of 6.4%... Read more →

Rolls-Royce is launching a lithium-ion based energy storage system for ships. Rolls-Royce has been delivering energy storage systems since 2010, however the actual energy storage units were previously supplied by an external party. Illustration of a ship system setup with batteries. This example shows a hybrid system for a tugboat.... Read more →

CELEST, largest German research platform for electrochemical storage, begins operation

The Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe (CELEST), the largest German research platform for electrochemical, comprising research into Li-ion batteries, post-Li technologies, fuel cells, and redox-flow batteries, has begun operation. CELEST combines finding-oriented research with close-to-practice development and innovative production technology. CELEST pools the know-how of 29 institutes... Read more →

Nano One Materials has launched a project focused on improving the durability of lithium-ion cathode materials with the support of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP will support Nano One’s project to develop Coatings for High Durability Lithium ion Battery Cathodes and... Read more →

U Mich team demonstrates high current densities and extended cycling with solid electrolyte

Researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor have combined recent developments in reducing interface resistance and optimizing microstructure to develop a solid electrolyte that demonstrates Li cycling at current densities competitive with Li-ion. Next generation electric vehicles and consumer electronics demand volumetric energy densities beyond that capable of state-of-the-art Li-ion... Read more →

Tropos Motors has released the new eXtended Range, ABLE XR low-speed electric utility vehicle. Powered by a 26 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the ABLE XR offers four times more range (up to 160 miles) compared to the standard ABLE configurations, and nearly three times more than its closest competition in... Read more →

A team of researchers from institutions in China and the US report the design of a negatively charged graphene composite separator for the effective suppression of the polysulfide shuttling effect in Li-sulfur batteries. The negatively charged 3D porous structure effectively inhibits the translocation of negatively charged polysulfide ions to enable... Read more →

A team from Tohoku University and Tokyo Tech have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries, reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those... Read more →

Daimler joins multiple initiatives for a sustainable raw material supply chain; future focus on battery cell supply chain

Daimler has joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, the Responsible Mineral Initiative, the Responsible Steel Initiative and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative. Joining the four initiatives takes a product’s entire life cycle into account—from development, via procurement and production to recycling. As part of the offensive for a sustainable raw material supply... Read more →

Cobalt Blockchain and DLT Labs form JV to release Mintrax blockchain platform for mineral traceability

Cobalt Blockchain Inc.(COBC) and DLT Labs Inc. finalized a joint venture agreement to commercialize Mintrax, a fully-functional blockchain platform providing secure and transparent methods for tracking the provenance of metals and minerals through the entire mining supply chain from source to end-user. COBC intends to provide conflict-free cobalt to address... Read more →

Rahul Panat, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon in collaboration with Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a new method of aerosol jet (AJ) 3-D printing battery electrodes that creates a 3-D microlattice structure with controlled... Read more →

Jilin team improves hydrogen storage alloys to boost performance of NiMH batteries

Researchers at Jilin University in China have proposed a new strategy for designing hydrogen storage alloys with high capacity and long cycling life to improve the discharge capacity and cycling life of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Their candidate alloy—La0.62Mg0.08Ce0.2Y0.1Ni3.25Co0.75Mn0.2Al0.3 [corresponding to (LaCeYMg) (NiCoMnAl)4.5] exhibits a high capacity of 326.7... Read more →

Researchers from Nanjing University have developed a new method for the extraction of lithium metal from seawater using solar-powered electrolysis with a NASICON solid-state electrolyte as the selective membrane. In a paper in the journal Joule, they report that their electrolysis method made the lithium extraction process faster and more... Read more →

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, with colleagues from Argonne National Laboratory in the US and Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, UK, have identified a group of materials—niobium tungsten oxides—that could be used to make even higher power batteries. The researchers, led by Professor Clare Grey, found... Read more →

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) of $839 million for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in 1H 2018 was 18% lower compared to the more than $1 billion raised in 1H 2017, according to a new report from India-based Mercom Capital Group, llc,... Read more →

Using an in situ liquid transmission electron microscopy technique that can visualize chemical reactions occurring in liquid environments, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new reason lithium-oxygen batteries—which promise up to five times more energy than the lithium-ion batteries that currently... Read more →

Nemaska Lithium (earlier post) reported that project construction and planning are on schedule at both its mine location and the electrochemical plant. I am pleased that we are progressing according to plan and that we are on track to start producing spodumene concentrate in the second half of 2019 with... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario are proposing selenium (Se) as a promising cathode material for all-solid-state Li batteries, paired with a lithium-tin (L-Sn) alloy as an anode and Li3PS4 as the electrolyte. In a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the team reports that in... Read more →

Alstom has selected French battery manufacturer Forsee Power to provide Li-ion batteries for Alstom Aptis electric bus (earlier post), scheduled for series delivery from 2019 onwards. The vehicles will be equipped with NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) Li-ion battery technology as a standard feature. Alstom said it chose Forsee Power... Read more →

Lithium-rich layered oxides (LRLO) are leading candidates for the next-generation cathode materials for energy storage, as they can deliver 50% excess capacity over commercially used compounds. However, voltage fade has prevented effective use of the excess capacity, and a major challenge has been a lack of understanding of the mechanisms... Read more →

SwRI opens Energy Storage Technology Center

Southwest Research Institute has opened a new Energy Storage Technology Center, bringing its diverse scientific research, development and evaluation of energy storage systems under one roof. The facility houses SwRI technology to evaluate and to develop battery and energy storage systems for electric, plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles; grid storage;... Read more →

Researchers develop non-flammable fluorinated electrolyte for Li-metal anodes with aggressive cathode chemistries; toward a 500 Wh/kg goal

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD), the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have developed a non-flammable fluorinated electrolyte that supports the most aggressive and high-voltage cathodes in a Li-metal battery. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, they report that a battery with... Read more →

AKASOL developing second-generation Li-ion battery systems for Mercedes-Benz’ eCitaro; 35% more energy in 2020

This autumn, AKASOL will begin serial production of the first-generation battery system AKASYSTEM OEM for the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric bus. AKASOL is also starting to develop second-generation lithium-ion battery systems in close cooperation with Daimler Buses. Being upwards compatible, these will offer about 35% more energy and contribute to an... Read more →

Johnson Matthey (JM) is building a demonstration-scale plant in Clitheroe, UK to manufacture next-generation battery materials to power electric vehicles. The new, multi-million pound plant will have a capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year and will be used to provide sample quantities of the company’s high energy, low-cobalt eLNO—lithium nickel... Read more →

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation will conduct a research experiment in Indonesia on battery sharing using the Honda Mobile Power Pack (“Mobile Power Pack”) detachable mobile battery with electric mobility products, including electric motorcycles powered by the Mobile Power Pack. The two companies are planning to begin the... Read more →

Fast charging is seen as a solution for range and recharging time issues for EVs. However, a critical barrier to fast charging is temperature. Fast charging in cold or even cool temperatures brings the risk of lithium plating—the formation of metallic lithium that drastically reduces battery life and even results... Read more →

BYD opened a 24 GWh power battery factory in Western China’s Qinghai province; the company is preparing to increase its total production capacity to 60 GWh by 2020. Power battery factory in Western China’s Qinghai province. The factory—equivalent to the size of 140 football fields—will be the largest in the... Read more →

First customers order the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro bus, deliveries this year; solid-state batteries, fuel-cell range-extender coming

The first Mercedes-Benz battery-electric eCitaro bus (earlier post) will be delivered at the end of the year and will go into practical operations in the context of a customer-oriented driving test. The Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH, operator of the local public transport system in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, signed a corresponding declaration... Read more →

EVgo, America’s largest public fast-charging network for electric vehicles (EVs), has launched a commercial installation of second-life battery storage at a public DC fast charging station. Following a pilot program at University of California San Diego (UCSD), this second-life battery system has been unveiled at an operational EVgo fast charging... Read more →

The Chinese EV battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) is building its first plant outside of China in Thuringia, Germany. The focus of the 14 GWh plant is on the automated production and intelligent production of batteries. CATL develops battery systems for global customers in EV, HEV and PHEV... Read more →

Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business, is investing in Ionic Materials, a privately held battery materials developer based in Massachusetts, to advance the development of battery technology and improve EV performance with solid-state battery innovation. Ionic Materials is a materials technology company developing advanced materials... Read more →

Roskill: predominance of lithium production shifting to mineral vs brine, driven by volume requirements of EVs

Roskill Information Services forecasts that the lithium industry will need to add nearly 100kt of new lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) production per year by 2027 to keep up with demand driven by the global transition to electric vehicles. Global lithium resources have increased significantly over recent years, driven by a... Read more →

Saft study on MgH2-TiH2 nanocomposites as active materials for all-solid-state lithium batteries

A team from France-based leading battery company Saft and Université Paris Est reports on solid-state batteries operating at 120 °C prepared with metal hydride MH nanocomposites xMgH2+(1-x)TiH2 used as active materials for the positive electrode; metallic Li as the negative electrode; and LiBH4 as the solid electrolyte in a paper in... Read more →

Toshiba researchers use TiNb2O7 anodes for high-energy, fast-charging, long-life Li-ion batteries for EVs

A team at Toshiba’s Corporate Research & Development Center in Kawasaki, Japan, has developed a high-density TiNb2O7 (HD-TNO) composite electrode consisting of micro-size spherical TNO secondary particles coated with carbon. As reported in a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, the anodes exhibited high-rate capability, long cycle-life, and a... Read more →

The Swiss company ecovolta is building a fully automated Li-Ion battery pack assembly plant in Schwyz with an annual capacity of 200 MWh. This will make it one of the largest such plants in Europe after its launch in September 2018. The construction principle used by ecovolta enables the flexible... Read more →