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$11M European project seeks to increase lifetime and energy density of automotive Li-ion batteries; second-life use

A €8.4-million (US$11-million) European research project will seek to increase the lifetime and energy density of large-format automotive Li-ion batteries, with a target of a 4,000-cycle lifetime at 80% DOD (depth of discharge) and an energy density of 250 Wh/kg. The goal is a commercial pre-product by the end of the project in September 2016.

The Batteries2020 project approach is based on three parallel strategies: 1) highly focused materials development; 2) understanding aging and degradation phenomena; and 3) routes to reduce battery cost, including second-life use. The project, led by Basque R&D Center IK4-IKERLAN, is receiving €5.9 million (US$7.8 million) in funding from the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.

The project participants include Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA; Aalborg Universitet; Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Umicore SA; Leclanche SA; Abengoa Research SL; Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen; and Kellen Europe S.A.

The team will seek to improve cathode materials based on nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) oxides, as such materials have a high chance to be up-scaled and commercialized near-term.

The researchers propose starting with current advanced cells and developing two improved generations of NMC materials and cells towards high performance, high stability and cyclability.

To develop further understanding of aging phenomena and degradation mechanisms, the team is proposing the development of robust testing methodology which will be improved in several steps. Combined accelerated, real tests, real field data, post-mortem, modeling and validation will provide a thorough understanding of aging and degradation processes.

As a pathway to reducing battery costs, the project team will analyze the potential reuse and recycling of batteries for providing economic viable project outputs.

The batteries that will be developed in Batteries2020 project will be used to store energy produced in industrial as well as domestic facilities.

Batteries2020 is part of the EU’s Green Car initiative which is seeking to generate the knowledge needed to improve the performance of electric cars.



The target of 250Wh/kg is less than the Panasonic's used in the Tesla already achieve:

However since the batteries in the Tesla are only rated for around 100,000 miles or so, using a very big pack, the cycle life rating for that battery seems to be pretty well the industry norm of perhaps 500-800 cycles to 80% capacity.

The degradation curve flattens after decreasing to 80% capacity, and takes maybe 2000 cycles to hit 70% with present generation batteries.

They do not specify what capacity level they expect to have left after the 4,000 cycles, so it is impossible to really tell how ambitious they are being.

If it is 70%, together with the same energy density already achieved by Panasonic, this is a pretty unexciting project.

If it is 80%, then at least in terms of cycle life this is bolder, although not in terms of energy density.

This announcement tends to confirm that those expecting radical improvements in batteries in the immediate future are likely to be disappointed.


Very small money in comparison what EU is going to waist on hydrogen. Therefore no results to be expected.


It is 'waste' not waist.
Your spelling is about as accurate as the rest of your comment.



Thank you. Your correction indicates your understanding exactly what I have meant therefore no appology is needed from my side.


Judging by their targets, it sou ds like they are pursuing smaller battery packs and rapid charging stations. It would be like using the Toshiba SCiB batteries but shooting for 250Wh/kg instead of the current 120Wh/kg..


I should explain the reason for my speculation: usually a battery that can be charged over 4,000 times can also handle lots of higher power rapid charging. So the only reason it would seem to make sense to target the charge cycles instead of higher energy density would be because they plan to take advantage of the inherent ability to rapid charge the higher cycle batteries bring to the table.

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