The BMW Group’s battery cell suppliers to use only green power to produce its fifth-generation cells

The BMW Group now has a contractual agreement with it cell manufacturers so that they will use only green power to produce BMW’s fifth-generation battery cells, according to BMW AG Management Board Chairman Oliver Zipse. The production of high-voltage batteries is energy-intensive, and accounts for up to 40% of a... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a request for information (RFI) (DOE-FOA-0002358) on challenges and opportunities in the upstream and midstream critical-materials battery supply chains. In this RFI, DOE specifically seeks input on the current state of the battery cathode materials... Read more →

Stanford University scientists have proposed a design strategy for electrolytes that enable anode-free Li metal batteries with single-solvent single-salt formations at standard concentrations. Based on the results reported in a paper in the journal Nature Energy, the design concept provides a promising path to high-energy, long-cycling Li metal batteries, the... Read more →

The COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications) project has been awarded a €11.8-million grant to develop Next Generation Cobalt-free batteries. COBRA, which aims to develop lithium, cobalt-free batteries made with new energy storage materials that incorporate intelligent sensors to help enhance their energy efficiency, is funded by the European... Read more →

Ampcera announces a low-cost and scalable solid electrolyte technology for solid-state batteries

Silicon-Valley-based Ampcera announced a low-cost flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state batteries (SSBs). Unlike conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs) that include a flammable liquid or gel polymer electrolyte, SSBs use a safe SE and promise to double the driving range of electric vehicles when loaded with the same... Read more →

Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and LG Chem launch global competition to invest in EV and battery start-ups

Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, and LG Chem are jointly sponsoring the “EV & Battery Challenge” (EVBC), a global competition to identify up to 10 EV and battery start-ups for potential investment and collaboration. New Energy Nexus, the international start-up support organization, will manage and facilitate the competition. With... Read more →

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Sunwoda Electric Vehicle Battery Co., Ltd. will begin studying joint development of next-generation vehicle batteries for Nissan’s e-POWER vehicles. (Earlier post.) The two companies will also discuss the development of an efficient production system to ensure stable supply capacity for jointly developed batteries. Nissan and... Read more →

A team of Brown University researchers has used reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to enhance the toughness of an oxide-based solid-state lithium-ion conductor. In an open-access paper in the journal Matter, they report demonstrating materials with a greater than 2-fold enhancement in the average fracture toughness (KIC). To our knowledge, this... Read more →

The second of Ricardo Software’s quarterly product releases for 2020 brings new capabilities in the area of electrified vehicle powertrains. With battery systems a key focus of hybrid and electric vehicle development, both the Ricardo VECTIS CFD package and IGNITE complex systems modeling product now provide solutions for optimizing battery... Read more →

DOE to fund national laboratories to establish industry partnerships for battery manufacturing innovation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting proposals from the National Laboratories and industry partners that pursue radical innovations for American battery manufacturing leadership. Under this opportunity, DOE will directly fund the National Laboratories to establish public-private partnerships that solve engineering challenges for advanced battery materials and devices, with... Read more →

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €125-million loan with Umicore, the Belgian-based global materials technology and recycling group, to finance part of the greenfield production facility for cathode materials in Poland. The cathode materials will be supplied to battery manufacturers of high-tech lithium-ion batteries that are primarily used... Read more →

Volkswagen to invest up to another $200M in solid-state-battery company QuantumScape

The Volkswagen Group is increasing its stake in QuantumScape and making an additional investment of up to $200 million in the US battery specialist. (Earlier post.) The goal is to drive forward the joint development of solid-state battery technology. In the future, solid-state batteries are expected to significantly increase range... Read more →

Johnson Matthey refocusing its LFP business to support eLNO battery materials

Johnson Matthey’s Alternative Powertrain business provides battery systems for a range of applications, fuel cell technologies and battery materials for automotive applications. Its Battery Materials business comprises lithium iron phosphate (LFP) materials as well as eLNO—a portfolio of leading ultra-high energy density materials. For the fiscal year ending 31 March,... Read more →

Flow of lithium ions into and out of alloy battery anodes has long been a limiting factor in how much energy batteries could hold using conventional materials. Too much ion flow causes anode materials to swell and then shrink during charge-discharge cycles, causing mechanical degradation that shortens battery life. To... Read more →

Roskill forecasts Li-ion battery demand to increase more than ten-fold by 2029 to >1,800GWh

Roskill forecasts that Li-ion battery demand will increase more than ten-fold by 2029, reaching in excess of 1,800GWh capacity. The pipeline capacity of battery gigafactories is reported by Roskill to exceed 2,000GWh in 2029, at more than 145 facilities globally. Driven by demand from the automotive and energy storage markets,... Read more →

American shipbuilding company Vigor Fab LLC has selected ABB as the hybrid-electric propulsion and energy storage system provider for the newest additions to the Washington State Ferry fleet—the largest US ferry system. The new Olympic Class ferries, which will have the capacity to carry 144 cars and 1,500 passengers each,... Read more →

Scientists from the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have developed a novel silica-based cathode for lithium–sulfur batteries, thereby enabling the realization of batteries that can last for more than 2,000 charge/discharge cycles. The possibility of successfully using the unconventional silica could spark a paradigm shift in rechargeable... Read more →

Canada-based Zinc8 Energy Solutions has created a wholly owned US subsidiary in New York state named Zinc8 Energy Solutions (USA) Inc. The incorporation of a United States based company follows on Zinc8 Energy Solutions’ two recent New York project announcements, a collaboration with the New York Power Authority for a... Read more →

Octillion Power Systems, a provider of advanced lithium-ion storage systems for electric mobility, is working with Lightning Systems, a developer of zero-emission drivetrains for commercial vehicles. The collaboration will produce Class 6 electric trucks (up to 12.5 tons) capable of supporting “middle-mile” delivery logistics between warehouses and distribution centers. Octillion... Read more →

Washington State University (WSU) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers, with colleagues at Beijing University of Technology and Brookhaven National Laboratory, have created a sodium-ion battery that holds as much energy and works as well as some commercial lithium-ion battery chemistries, making for a potentially viable battery technology out... Read more →

Roskill: Nickel sulfate to be the key growth area of nickel demand over the next decade; driven by EVs

As a crucial raw material in Li-ion batteries used to electrify vehicles, a significant volume of nickel sulfate will be required in the decade ahead from the booming automotive sector. In a newly-released report (Nickel Sulphate Outlook to 2029, 3rd Edition) on the nickel sulfate industry, Roskill forecasts that growth... Read more →

As of 26 May 2020, NIO Power has completed more than 500,000 EV battery swaps in China, becoming one of NIO’s most well-received power services. Power Swap is at the core of NIO’s “chargeable, swappable, upgradable” user experience, alongside a comprehensive battery and vehicle e-powertrain inspection. The infrastructure also enables... Read more →

Leclanché announces strategic reorganization; partnership with Eneris Group

Swiss energy storage company Leclanché SA announced a strategic reorganization which will convert the company into a market-oriented, research-driven, software and systems integration company with expanded production and R&D capabilities based on a partnership agreement with Eneris Group. Eneris Group will make direct investments in Leclanché totaling up to CHF... Read more →

A team from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, with colleagues from Tsinghua University and China Electric Power Research Institute, have developed a method to estimate EV battery life based on cloud data. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Automobile companies... Read more →

Samsung SDI injects capital into EcoPro EM JV for battery materials

Samsung SDI has begun injecting capital into EcoPro EM, a joint venture with EcoPro BM, a supplier of EV battery cathode materials to Samsung. EcoPro BM in turn is a subsidiary of EcoPro, a company that develops and produces technologies to remove and prevent air pollution from various sources. EcoPro... Read more →

Volkswagen intensifies e-mobility activities in China with additional €2B investment; JAC Volkswagen and battery-maker Gotion

Volkswagen plans to increase its share in JAC Volkswagen, its joint venture for e-mobility. Around €1 billion is to be invested. This amount includes the acquisition of 50% of JAG, the parent company of the Volkswagen partner JAC, and an increase in the stake in JAC Volkswagen from 50 to... Read more →

Engineering company Gaussin and energy major Total are jointly developing the first full electric aircraft refueler transporter (ART FULL ELEC). Planned for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, this prototype will be capable of towing two fuel tankers, with a fuel capacity of 30 tons each. Delivery is expected at... Read more →

EV battery costs have declined significantly over the past ten years, from more than $1,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to less than $200/kWh. Increasing cell energy is one way to decrease cost even further, as a higher specific energy value will result in fewer materials needed for the same total battery... Read more →

Local battery production is an important success factor for Mercedes-Benz AG’s electric offensive and the key element to meet the global demand for electrified vehicles flexibly and efficiently. The company is therefore investing more than €1 billion to establish a global battery production network. The network will consist of nine... Read more →

Magnesium (Mg) is a promising candidates to replace lithium for electrochemical energy storage devices due to its abundance—far greater than that of lithium—enhanced safety, and theoretical high volumetric capacity. However, Mg batteries suffer from sluggish kinetics and poor reversibility, making it difficult to achieve high volumetric capacity. Now, researchers at... Read more →

Australia-based Argosy Minerals Limited confirmed the successful export shipment of five tonnes of >99.5% lithium carbonate product from its industrial-scale pilot plant operations at the Rincon Lithium Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The preliminary five tonne cargo was loaded onto the ship on Wednesday and set sail overnight from Buenos... Read more →

InoBat Auto acquires Slovakia site for battery R&D and prototype production

European R&D and battery production company InoBat Auto has acquired a 290,000 sq ft (27,000 sq m) facility close to Bratislava, Slovakia. The property will house a 100MWh facility combining proprietary High Throughput Process (HTP) R&D with prototype battery cell-manufacturing capabilities. InoBat says the facility will produce batteries to specifications... Read more →

Inorganic NASCION‐type Li conductors have great potential to bring high capacity solid‐state lithium batteries (SSLBs) to realization, due to properties such as high ionic conductivity, stability under ambient conditions, wide electrochemical stability window, and inexpensive production. However, despite the merits, the integration of NASCION-type electrolytes in SSLBs is still hampered... Read more →

Northvolt and Vattenfall have launched of a new battery energy storage solution, Voltpack Mobile System—a rugged, highly modular lithium-ion battery system envisioned as a zero-emission alternative to replace diesel generators. Voltpack Mobile System delivers up to 250 kW with a scalable capacity from 245 to 1225 kWh of available energy.... Read more →

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a thin-film, highly conductive solid-state electrolyte made of a polymer and ceramic-based composite for lithium metal batteries. Solid electrolytes are promising in enabling lithium metal to replace the conventional graphite anode to significantly increase the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries. There... Read more →

OXIS Energy to build Li-S manufacturing plant in Brazil

OXIS Energy and the Minas Gerais Development Company CODEMGE have signed a 15-year lease agreement with Mercedes Benz Brazil (MBB) to take possession of a plant located at the MBB manufacturing site in Juiz de Fora in southeast Brazil to build a Li-sulfur battery manufacturing operation. NORDIKA Pharmaceutical of Brazil... Read more →

The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $7.8 to two lithium recovery projects. Uniquely high concentrations of the dissolved soft metal are found in the brine produced by the state’s geothermal hotspots. The Salton Sea Known Geothermal Area contains an estimated six million tons of recoverable lithium within presently available geothermal... Read more →

Volta Power Systems has partnered with Stellar Industries to provide lithium-ion power systems that reduce idling from fleet utility and work trucks. The auxiliary system stores enough energy to provide all-day power to operate hydraulics, power tools, and multiphase worksite power without idling. Available as an accessory to replace a... Read more →

Australia-based EcoGraf Limited has received confirmation that its high-purity graphite, which is produced from low-value graphite by-product fines utilising the EcoGraf process, has been qualified by two leading European industrial customers as meeting their strict physical and chemical specifications. The company’s product samples achieved the customers’ strict specifications including particle... Read more →

BYD, Europe’s leading electric bus manufacturer, received an order for a further 13 eBuses from Nobina—the principal bus operator in Sweden and the Nordic region. The new 12-meter models are destined for the town of Piteå in the north-east of Sweden where the new BYD fleet will go into service... Read more →

Electric powertrain company IRP Systems raises $17M in Series B

Israel-based IRP Systems, a provider of electric powertrain products, raised $17 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Chinese VC Fosun RZ capital, with additional funds provided by JAL ventures, previous investor Entrée Capital, Tal Capital, Union Tech Ventures, Cendana Capital and Allied Group subsidiary Champion Motors,... Read more →

The Department of the Interior (Department) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have approved a proposal to construct and operate the largest solar project in United States history. US Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Partners XI, LLC to construct... Read more →

DOE to provide $6M for research to develop energy storage technologies for deployment with fossil assets

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $6 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002332, Energy Storage for Fossil Power Generation. The FOA seeks applications to (1) advance near-term, system-integrated, energy storage... Read more →

SCE signs 7 contracts for 770 MW of battery-based energy storage for grid reliability

Southern California Edison recently signed seven contracts totaling 770 megawatts of battery-based energy storage resources to help enhance the region’s electric system reliability needs. The recently conducted solicitation and the resulting contracts make up one of the country’s largest energy storage procurements. The projects will enhance electric grid reliability and... Read more →

India’s leading power trading company Manikaran Power Limited (MPL), in collaboration with its partner Australian project development company Neometals Ltd, has initiated a jointly-financed AACE Class 3 Feasibility Study (FS) to evaluate a lithium hydroxide refinery located in India with a nameplate capacity of a 20,000 tonnes per annum LCE... Read more →

Volkswagen investing €450M in Northvolt JV battery operations at Salzgitter

The joint venture between Volkswagen Group and the Swedish battery producer Northvolt AB (earlier post) is gaining further momentum. Volkswagen itself will erect the buildings and infrastructure for the joint venture’s “Northvolt Zwei” factory that is to produce lithium-ion battery cells, in order to leverage synergies at the Salzgitter site—based... Read more →

In the first quarter of 2020, passenger vehicle cell suppliers deployed 20.5 GWh of battery capacity globally, down from 20.9 GWh during the first quarter of 2019 and 26.5 GWh in the fourth quarter, according to data from Adamas Intelligence’s EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker. After losing the... Read more →

First Cobalt Corp. announced positive results from an independent feasibility study conducted on its permitted cobalt refinery in Ontario, Canada. The study contemplates expanding the existing facility and adapting it to be North America’s first producer of cobalt sulfate, an essential component in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.... Read more →

At ŠKODA’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, assembly of high-voltage traction batteries for Volkswagen Group plug-in hybrid models has recommenced as planned. To protect the workforce, more than 80 precautions have to be strictly followed. ŠKODA AUTO has resumed production at its Czech plants. The company’s main plant also has recommenced... Read more →