ARPA-E announces $98M in funding for 40 OPEN projects; two opposed-piston engines projects receive $10M total

The US Department of Energy announced $98 million in funding for 40 new projects as part of OPEN 2018, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) latest open funding opportunity. OPEN solicitations are an open call to scientists and engineers for transformational technologies across the entire scope of ARPA-E’s energy mission.... Read more →


Penn State team uses 3D cross-linked polymer sponge to stabilize Li-metal anodes

A team at Penn State has developed a three-dimensional, cross-linked polyethylenimine lithium-ion-affinity sponge as the lithium metal anode host to mitigate the problem of dendritic growth of the metal anode. A paper on their work is published in Nature Energy. Using metals as anodes in metal batteries is considered as... Read more →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance invests in Enevate to advance Si-dominant Li-ion battery technology for EVs

Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has invested in the latest round of funding in Enevate Corporation, an advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology company based in Irvine, California. (Earlier post.) The investment reflects the capability of Enevate in advanced Li-ion batteries capable of extreme fast charging with... Read more →


Volkswagen Group picks SK Innovation as supplier of battery cells for MEB-based EVs in North America

The Volkswagen Group has selected South Korea-based battery manufacturer SK Innovation (SKI) as the fourth major supplier of battery cells for electric vehicles based on the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). SKI will supply the batteries for North America and a share of the batteries for the production of Volkswagen Group... Read more →


Kongsberg selects Leclanché for energy storage solutions for electric and hybrid marine industry; 45 MWh for 9 vessels

Leading global maritime technology company Kongsberg Maritime has selected Leclanché as its battery partner and supplier of customized marine energy storage solutions. The partnership contributes to Kongsberg’s new generation of hybrid power solutions, which are set to deliver efficiencies and to reduce the environmental impact of transportation with autonomous and... Read more →


SJTU team develops fumed alumina gel-like electrolyte to boost performance of Li-S batteries

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed a gel-like electrolyte induced by fumed alumina for dendrite-free Li deposition, lower over-potential and better cycle stability in lithium-sulfur batteries. An open-access paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Chemical Communications. The Li-S@pPAN cells with the proposed electrolyte exhibit... Read more →


CATL Germany plant to provide Li-ion cells for BMW iNEXT

At the beginning of the third quarter, the BMW Group signed a long-term contract with the Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to supply battery cells with a value of four billion euros. The award of this contract was a decisive factor in CATL’s decision to build an... Read more →


The BMW Group and Turkish manufacturer Karsan have signed an agreement for the supply of BMW i3 motors and batteries for the battery-electric 6-meter city bus “Jest electric”, which is produced in Bursa in Turkey for both the domestic market and for international markets. The electric motors and high-voltage batteries... Read more →


USABC awards $1.08M Li-ion battery recycling project to Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a collaborative organization of FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, has awarded $1.08 million to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts for Phase II of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery recycling contract. The contract award, which includes a 50%... Read more →


The falling cost of batteries is set to drive a boom in the installation of energy storage systems around the world in the years from now to 2040, according to the latest annual forecast from research company Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative... Read more →


CAMX Power introduces GEMX high performance cathode materials

CAMX Power (CAMX) is introducing a new class of cathode materials that can improve the performance, while also reducing the cost, of lithium-ion batteries. This material was originally conceived by TIAX and continued by CAMX when it became a separate company in 2014. The announcement was delayed until the key... Read more →


Nissan unveiled the Frontier Sentinel, a concept pickup truck designed by Nissan Brazil’s styling studio, at the 2018 São Paulo Motor Show. The concept is designed for rescue missions in all types of Brazilian terrain. Frontier Sentinel integrates a host of features, including two battery packs from the Nissan LEAF... Read more →


Daimler battery subsidiary Accumotive doubles the amount of employees to approximately 1,000

Daimler AG is expanding its global battery production network and is paving the way for the creation of a cross-divisional electro initiative. The wholly-owned Daimler subsidiary Accumotive at the Kamenz location in Germany will employ around 1,000 people by the end of the year—doubling the workforce almost one year earlier... Read more →


Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, despite their high theoretical specific energy, face practical challenges including polysulfide shuttling and low cell-level energy density. Researchers at the University of Waterloo have now shown that the lightweight superconductor MgB2 (magnesium diboride)—the average mass/atom of which is comparable with carbon—as a metallic sulfur host fulfills both... Read more →


A team from Monash University, a leading university in Australia, and the Toyota Research Institute North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor North America R&D (TMNA) based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reports a novel family of closo-boron-cluster based room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs). Their very low glass transition temperatures,... Read more →


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a technology for efficiently managing photovoltaic (PV) and other power-generation systems and also the charging/discharging of electric vehicles (EVs) parked on company campuses. Mitsubishi Electric estimates the technology will reduce users’ electric power costs by 5% by optimizing EV charging/discharging schedules. By optimizing the schedules... Read more →


The EU OPTEMUS (Optimized Energy Management and Use) project seeks to address the electric range limitation due to limited storage capacity of electric batteries by leveraging low energy consumption and energy harvesting through a holistic vehicle-occupant-centered approach, considering space, cost and complexity requirements. Specifically, OPTEMUS intends to develop a number... Read more →


The BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant in Germany will supply the batteries for the all-electric MINI to be built in late 2019 in Oxford, South England. The batteries for the vehicle will come from the new battery production facility in Dingolfing; the electric motors from the neighboring BMW Group plant in... Read more →


Terrafame to invest €240M in EV battery materials plant; nickel and cobalt sulfates; commercial production in 2021

The Board of Directors of Terraframe—a Finnish multi-metal company producing nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper—has greenlighted the investment of €240 million in a battery materials plant. The plant, which will produce chemicals used in electric vehicle batteries (EVB), will be located at the company’s current industrial site in Sotkamo, Finland.... Read more →


Audi and Umicore developing closed-loop recycling for high-voltage batteries; 95%+ recovery of key elements

Audi and Umicore have successfully completed phase one of their strategic research cooperation for battery recycling. The two partners are developing a closed loop for components of high-voltage batteries that can be used again and again. Particularly valuable materials are set to become available in a raw materials bank. Even... Read more →


The Rice University lab of chemist James Tour has shown that thin nanotube films effectively stop dendrites that grow naturally from unprotected lithium metal anodes in batteries. A paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Materials. Here, it is shown that lithiated multiwall carbon nanotubes (Li‐MWCNTs) act... Read more →


Australian advanced materials technology company Talga Resources Ltd announced positive initial test results from the development of its graphene silicon lithium-ion anode in the UK. The results are the first under Talga’s UK Government funded “Safevolt” project—a Talga-led program run in conjunction with consortia partners, Johnson Matthey, the University of... Read more →


Enevate Corporation, developer of a silicon-dominant composite anode material and high energy density batteries (earlier post), announced that LG Chem has participated in Enevate’s recent funding. Introduced in November 2017, Enevate’s HD-Energy Technology for EVs enables Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells with up to 50% higher capacity than conventional graphite cells. The... Read more →


Caterpillar makes strategic investment in Fisker, with interest in solid-state battery tech

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company developing electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, announced a strategic investment from Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric... Read more →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in the first 9 months (9M) of 2018 was 8% higher at more than $1.3 billion compared to the $1.2 billion raised in 9M 2017, according to the latest Mercom Capital... Read more →


BASF and Nornickel partner to supply cobalt and nickel battery materials

BASF and Nornickel have established a strategic cooperation to meet the growing needs for battery materials in electric vehicles. BASF has selected Harjavalta, Finland, as the first location for battery materials production serving the European automotive market. The plant will be constructed adjacent to the nickel and cobalt refinery owned... Read more →


Researchers in Drexel’s College of Engineering report the ability of stabilized titanium monoxide (TiO) nanoparticles in nanofibers to support high conductivity and to bind polysulfides in Li-S batteries. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Applied Materials & Interfaces. The developed 3-D TiO/CNF architecture with the inherent inter-fiber macropores... Read more →


LG Chem hosts open innovation contest for start-ups with new battery technologies

LG Chem, South Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries, is hosting its first open innovation contest—The Battery Challenge—to support start-ups specializing in new battery technology to strengthen its competitiveness in the industry. LG Chem will offer more than $1.9 million in funding to 8 selected start-up companies. The finalists... Read more →


Carbon fibers have already beeen demonstrated as high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes, opening the way for their use as structural electrodes—i.e., simultaneously carrying mechanical load and storing electrical energy. Now, researchers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have linked the carbon fiber (CF) microstructure to the lithium insertion mechanism and... Read more →


German BMBF launches new €16M FestBatt multi-institution cluster to focus on solid-state batteries

Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new €16-million cluster—FestBatt—to foster basic research into solid-state batteries. Fourteen scientific institutions have joined FestBatt; the competence cluster is coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU). Solid-state batteries are fireproof and might enable larger storage capacities and quicker charging processes... Read more →


BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore partner to develop sustainable life-cycle loop for EV batteries in Europe

The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore have formed a joint technology consortium in order to work closely together on the continued development of a complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe. The chief objective is to make battery cells sustainable by establishing a closed... Read more →


Nanobox strategy to improve performance of Li-S batteries

Researchers at Changchun University of Science and Technology in China have developed a nanobox strategy to improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries. A paper on their work appears in the Journal of Power Sources. Li–S batteries theoretically offer a specific energy density of 2600 Wh kg−1—five times than the commercial... Read more →


Audi is the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to receive a certificate from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). With the Performance Standard certification, the ASI confirms that Audi meets the ASI requirements for industrial users of aluminum and sustainably designs and manufactures the aluminum components of the battery housing of the... Read more →


BMW Group extends JV contract with Brilliance to 2040, increases stake to 75%; €3B investment in plants

The BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. (CBA) announced the early extension of the joint venture contract for BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) and the further deepening of the existing successful collaboration. The extended contract is valid for 22 years (from 2018 to 2040). Furthermore, the BMW Group intends... Read more →


Argonne’s CAMP battery testing and prototyping facility grows to meet demand for next-generation technologies

Argonne National Laboratory recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the expanded Cell Analysis, Modeling and Prototyping (CAMP) facility. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Argonne funded the facility, which is used by industry, academia and national laboratories across the United States. Many of the innovations... Read more →


Bolivian state enterprise Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) officially sealed their cooperation on the extraction and industrialization of lithium from Salar de Uyuni. Juan Carlos Montenegro, Head of YLB, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schmutz, CEO of ACISA, signed a partnership agreement... Read more →


Cabot Corporation partnering with Argonne, SAFT in DOE-funded project for development of low-cobalt cathodes

Cabot Corporation, a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in an advanced vehicle technologies research project that is part of a large, $80-million funding package (earlier post). Cabot will leverage its novel process technology to contribute... Read more →


Novel materials can considerably improve storage capacity and cycling stability of rechargeable batteries. Among these materials are high-entropy oxides (HEO), the stability of which results from a disordered distribution of the elements. With HEO, electrochemical properties can be tailored, as was found by scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).... Read more →


SK Innovation to invest $354M to build Li-ion battery separator plant in China

SK Innovation will invest 400 billion won (US$353.8 million) to build a Li-ion battery separator plant in China. The plant is set to start commercial production in the third quarter of 2020 with an annual capacity of 340 million square meters of polymer lithium-ion battery separator (LiBS) and 130 million... Read more →


China team proposes method for converting liquid electrolyte into quasi-solid gel electrolyte for Li metal batteries

Researchers in China report that commercialized liquid electrolyte can be easily converted into a novel quasi-solid gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) via a simple and efficient in situ gelation strategy. The newly developed GPE exhibits elevated protective effects on Li metal anodes and has universality for diversified cathodes including, but not... Read more →


NSF awards Saratoga Energy grant to advance production of carbon nanotubes from CO2 for batteries closer to market

Saratoga Energy has won a National Science Foundation grant to scale up its breakthrough process for generating low-cost, top quality carbon nanotubes from carbon dioxide for use in making high-performance Li-ion batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles, grid storage, and military and aerospace applications. The $723,000 Phase II... Read more →


OXIS Energy hits 425 Wh/kg with Li-S cell,expects to achieve 450 Wh/kg by end of year

OXIS Energy UK has achieved 425 Wh/kg on a High Energy 16Ah pouch Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) cell design for HAPS applications (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) and expects to achieve 450Wh/kg at cell level by the end of 2018. OXIS aims to reach 500Wh/kg by the end of 2019 through its... Read more →


BMW has released the new 2019 i3 and i3s electric vehicles with 120 Ah batteries. Since launch in 2014, the battery capacity and range of the i3 has grown from the original 60Ah / 81 miles to 94Ah / 115 miles in 2017 and now 120Ah for 2019. With the... Read more →


Groupe Renault is launching its “Advanced Battery Storage” program, which aims to build the biggest energy stationary storage system using EV batteries yet designed in Europe by 2020 (power: 70 MW / energy: 60MWh). It will have a storage capacity of at least 60 MWh, making it the biggest system... Read more →


Scientists at KU Leuven, University of Lubumbashi reveal the health risks of cobalt mining in DR Congo

Demand for cobalt has been on the increase due to its many applications. The metal is a crucial component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. Around 60% of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the mineral-rich Katanga Copper belt, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Researchers... Read more →


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 →