Freudenberg secures majority interest in Li-ion battery maker XALT Energy; full acquisition coming

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has become majority stakeholder of XALT Energy, a Midland, Mich.-based global developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion technology solutions targeted for heavy-duty mobility applications. In March 2018, Freudenberg announced it had acquired a 31% ownership stake in XALT Energy through a multi-million dollar investment in its operations. (Earlier... Read more →


FreeWire Technologies, a pioneer in flexible mobile power and EV charging technology (earlier post), will demonstrate its Mobi Gen and Mobi EV Charger units at DistribuTECH in partnership with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the nation’s sixth-largest utility. SMUD is testing the units for deployment within Sacramento. Mobi EV Chargers... Read more →


A team led by researchers at Oregon State University have demonstrated that diffusion may not be necessary to transport ionic charges inside a hydrated solid-state structure of a battery electrode. The discovery potentially could shift the whole paradigm of high-power electrochemical energy storage with new design principles for electrodes, said... Read more →


Kiepe Electric orders 80 trolleybus Li-ion battery systems from Voltabox

Kiepe Electric has ordered 80 standardized lithium-ion battery systems from Voltabox AG for trolleybuses. The delivery of the systems will begin in the middle of this year. Each battery system is made up of three structurally identical standard containers, each of which contains 12 battery modules with lithium titanate (LTO)... Read more →


An international team of researchers led by a group from the University of Manchester in the UK has used a biological technique which won the 2017 Nobel Chemistry Prize to reveal 3D atomic-scale chemistry in metal nanoparticles used as catalysts. It is the first time this technique has been for... Read more →


As part of a strategy to continue providing low-emissions solutions for harsh offshore operating environments, Siemens has opened a fully robotized and digitalized plant in Norway that will develop and manufacture energy storage technologies for both marine and offshore oil and gas applications. Eventually, the plant will assemble 55 battery... Read more →


Epsilor’s lithium-ion 6T NATO-standard battery is currently being evaluated and field tested by industrial clients and armed forces in five NATO countries. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) recently completed a year-long testing process during which the Epsilor 6T was evaluated in different climate and field conditions (desert, mountains, rocky areas,... Read more →


by Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com. It’s been a decade of lows for commodities after posting 7 declines in 11 years, but we’ve seriously underestimated lithium. It’s back with a vengeance in 2019. The commodities market endured yet another annus horribilis, with just four commodities—natural gas, uranium, cocoa and wheat—recording any... Read more →


A KAIST research team has developed ultra-stable, high-rate lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs) by using hierarchically porous titanium nitride (h-TiN) as a sulfur host. In a paper in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers report that h-TiN/S shows a reversible capacity of 557 mAh g−1 even after 1000 cycles at 5 C... Read more →


Chevron invests in Prussian Blue battery tech company Natron Energy; stationary storage for EV charging stations

Natron Energy, a developer of new battery cell technology based on Prussian Blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte, has closed a strategic investment by Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) to support the development of stationary energy storage systems for demand charge management at electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Natron Energy... Read more →


Germany launches R&D facility for industrial-scale Li-ion cell manufacturing; €500M in funding

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched the Battery Cell Research Production Center, a new R&D and large-scale industrial manufacturing plant for lithium-ion cells; the center will receive an investment of €500 million. The location of the new facility is to be selected by mid-2019, after... Read more →


Because of their high theoretical energy density, lithium oxygen batteries (LOB) are the focus of much research for future generations of energy storage, particularly for pervasive electric vehicles. However, problems such as low round-trip efficiency, poor reversibility and inferior electrolyte stability have hindered practical applications. A typical non-aqueous Li-oxygen battery... Read more →


Safran acquired an equity interest in Li-Sulfur battery manufacturer OXIS Energy (earlier post) through its Safran Corporate Ventures subsidiary, which invests in disruptive technology businesses. OXIS Energy, a leader in lithium-sulfur cell technology for high energy density battery systems, has already been granted 173 patents with 96 pending. Benefiting from... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is investing US$10 million in the US-based startup Forge Nano Inc. with a view to reinforcing its specialist knowledge in the field of battery research. Forge Nano, formerly PneumatiCoat Technologies, is investigating processes for scaling atomic layer deposition (ALD) to create new core-shell materials, especially for battery... Read more →


BMW to supply Motiv with i3 Li-ion batteries for integration into EPIC for commercial EVs

California-based Motiv Power Systems, a provider of medium-duty all-electric fleet chassis for trucks and buses (earlier post), announced a supply agreement with BMW to integrate the latest (third) evolution of BMW’s passenger car lithium-ion battery packs into Motiv’s EPIC (Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis). When Motiv specs a battery for a... Read more →


Saudi Arabia-based SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, has taken a majority stake in Black Diamond Structures (BDS), a nanotechnology company established in 2014. BDS produces and commercializes MOLECULAR REBAR, a proprietary technology of modified carbon nanotubes that offers potential for enhancing the performance of energy storage applications using... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars to build battery factory in Jawor, Poland; ninth in its global network

Mercedes-Benz Cars will build a battery factory at the site in Jawor, Poland, and thus extend its global battery production network to nine factories. We will electrify the complete portfolio until 2022 and will be able to offer in each segment various electrified alternatives to our customers. This includes more... Read more →


Toyota and Panasonic to establish automotive prismatic battery JV

Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation have concluded a business-integration contract and a joint-venture contract toward the establishment of a new joint venture related to the automotive prismatic battery business by the end of 2020 (pending approval from the competition-law authorities in the countries and regions concerned). Toyota will hold... Read more →


LIBCOIN-BHEL consortium in discussions to build Indian Government’s first Li-ion Gigafactory; to scale up to 30 GWh

Magnis Energy Technologies Limited announced that the Government of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises advises that Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and LIBCOIN (20% owned by Magnis) are in discussions to build India’s first Li-ion battery gigafactory. BHEL is India’s largest power generation equipment manufacturer; the government... Read more →


Nikkei: Toyota and Panasonic to set up JV for production of EV batteries and development of next-gen systems

The Nikkei said it had learned that Toyota Motor and Panasonic will set up a joint venture in 2020 to manufacture EV batteries, with a focus on cost and scale and an eye toward rising Chinese players. The Nikkei reported that the JV will be announced as soon as this... Read more →


DOE launches Battery Recycling Prize and establishes Battery Recycling R&D Center

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced the launch of a Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize and the establishment of an associated Battery Recycling R&D Center. These efforts aim to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology used in consumer electronics, defense, energy storage, and transportation applications.... Read more →


Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, RCS Global launch blockchain pilot to address concerns in strategic mineral supply chains; cobalt to start

Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global will use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals in an effort to support human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains. The group, which includes participants at each major... Read more →


China team uses ultra-thin indium sheet to stabilize Li-metal anode

Researchers from Tsinghua University and China University of Geosciences have used an ultrathin indium sheet to construct a stabilized lithium-rich hybrid anode with fast interfacial ion transport. The artificial alloy layer demonstrates an enhanced ionic conductivity with an order of magnitude higher than that of the pristine solid electrolyte interphase.... Read more →


Researchers at Imperial College London (ICL) developed a model to determine the lifetime costs (i.e., levelized cost)—as opposed to the investment cost—of 9 electricity storage technologies for 12 different applications between 2015 and 2050. The model predicts lithium-ion batteries to be the cheapest technology in the coming decades. An open-access... Read more →


California Energy Commission awards follow-on funding to Sepion Technologies for advanced membranes for Li-metal batteries

As part of $14 million in continuation grants, the California Energy Commission is awarding $450,000 in additional funding to Sepion Technologies, an Emeryville-based company developing battery membrane materials capable of supporting batteries that can power electric vehicles for 400 miles. Sepion has developed a composite membrane to replace the expensive... Read more →


Researchers in Korea have developed three-dimensional monolithic corrugated graphene on nickel foam electrode as a Li metal storage framework in carbonate electrolytes. Electrochemical tests reported in their paper in the Journal of Power Sources illustrate the effectiveness of this material design concept, which provides a new route to the development... Read more →


In a review published in the journal Chem of the technical issues generated by the mating of Li-metal anodes and solid-state electrolytes, a team from Tsinghua University concludes that such solid-state lithium metal batteries (SSLMBs) have “brilliant prospects, though practically there are still many barriers to be overcome.” A solid-state... Read more →


Workhorse Group secures $35M in financing from Marathon Asset Management; $1.3M battery purchase by Duke Energy

Workhorse Group Inc., a manufacturer of electric-mobility solutions to the transportation sector (earlier post), closed a $35-million financing with Marathon Asset Management. The proceeds will be used for current working capital, parts acquisitions to fulfill existing and future customer purchase orders and contracts as well as to satisfy full repayment... Read more →


UCL, UI researchers devise method to optimize magnesium chromium oxide cathode materials; disordered materials

University College London and University of Illinois at Chicago researchers report a new, scalable method for making a material that can reversibly store magnesium ions at high-voltage. The study is published RSC journal Nanoscale. Chromium oxides with the spinel structure have been predicted to be promising high voltage cathode materials... Read more →


Researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tohoku University and Nippon Institute of Technology at Tokyo Tech examined the mechanisms behind the resistance at the electrode-electrolyte interface of all-solid-state batteries and found that the crystallinity has a significant impact on interface resistance. Their paper is published in the journal ACS Applied... Read more →


Tsinghua University researchers have synthesized a novel layered-spinel lithium manganite hydrate for high capacity and ultrafast lithium storage. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. The team used a simple one-step hydrothermal lithiation process to create the material. The layered-spinel coexistence, stable intercalated water,... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) have devised a process for converting retired Li-ion battery anodes to graphene and graphene oxide (GO). A paper on the work is published in the ACS journal Nano Letters. … accompanying the booming expansion of the Li-ion battery market, a tremendous amount of... Read more →


Researchers at the Northwestern Polytechnical University and Shaanxi Joint Lab of Graphene in China have synthesized onion-like nanospheres of carbon encapsulated few-layer MoS2 nanosheets for use as an anode material in Li-ion batteries. The nanocomposite delivers a specific capacity of 1119 mAh g−1 and shows excellent rate and cycling performance. A... Read more →


Volkswagen is previewing the company’s future mobile quick charging station. The first mobile quick charging stations will be set up as early as the first half of 2019 in Wolfsburg as part of a pilot project, and will support the expansion of a charging infrastructure in the urban area. The... Read more →


Toshiba Corporation is taking its SCiB rechargeable battery business from Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation (TISS) to make it an independent business unit within Toshiba. The reorganization advances the strategy of the Toshiba Next Plan, announced on 8 November, which positions the battery business as a new growth business.... Read more →


Maxwell Technologies, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of energy storage and power delivery technology, has simultaneously signed and closed a definitive agreement to sell its High Voltage (HV) product line to Renaissance Investment Foundation. Under terms of the agreement, Maxwell sold all shares of its Swiss subsidiary, Maxwell Technologies... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America have discovered a promising new version of high-energy magnesium batteries, with potential applications ranging from electric vehicles to battery storage for renewable energy systems. The battery, reported in the journal Joule, is the first to operate with... Read more →


Researchers at Jiangsu Normal University in China have devised a boron-doped carbon-sulfur (BCS) aerogel with consecutive “core-shell” stuctures as a binder-free cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, they report achieving a high specific capacity of 1326 mAh/g, long cycling lifespan and a... Read more →


Canada-based MGX Minerals Inc. is funding a research consortium with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to develop a low-cost and scalable method for fabricating silicon-based anodes to improve the energy density of Li-ion batteries. The two-year research program will focus on 1) fabricating nanostructured silicon using low-cost metallurgical silicon... Read more →


Bolivia and ACISA found joint venture to extract and industrialize lithium from residual brine; €300M investment

Bolivian state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) have formed a joint venture: YLB-ACISA. The aim of the JV is the sustainable extraction and industrialization of lithium as well as other raw materials from Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt... Read more →


A team of researchers in China has devised a simple and mass-produceable method to modify a Li metal anode to avoid the formation of an unstable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) and the subsequent growth of Li dendrites in high-energy-density Li-S batteries. A paper on their work is published in the... Read more →


€7.9M Lithium Sulfur for Safe Road Electrification project launches in Europe in January

The €7.9-million (US$8.9-million), 43-month Lithium Sulfur for Safe Road Electrification (LISA) project will launch 1 January 2019 in Europe. The overall goal is to design and manufacture a lithium-sulfur technology that will enable safe electrification of EV applications. The partners involved in the LISA project are LEITAT (co-ordinators), OXIS Energy... Read more →


Lithium-chalcogen batteries—e.g., lithium-sulfur (Li-S) and lithium selenium (Li-Se) systems— are promising candidates for high energy electrical storage solution. Earlier this year, a team of researchers at the General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, MI, with colleagues at Optimal CAE and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), reported demonstrating a... Read more →


24M, part of a team that received $3.5 million in funding from ARPA-E in 2016 to further the development of the next generation of high-energy-density, low-cost batteries (earlier post), has raised a $21.8 million Series D to accelerate the deployment of its simple, capital-efficient, low-cost manufacturing process and the development... Read more →


Li-ion battery maker CATL opens its first North American sales and service facility

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL), a leading global supplier and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery products for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage facilities, is renewing its commitment to the US market by opening its first North American sales and service facility. CATL has established partnerships with several US-based businesses... Read more →


Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and... Read more →


Daimler buying more than €20B of battery cells for electric drive vehicles by 2030

Daimler will buy more than €20 billion (US$23 billion) of battery cells for electric drive vehicles by 2030, the company announced. The suppliers are already producing battery cells in Asia and Europe and are continuing to expand in Europe and additionally in the US. Daimler currently has battery cell supply... Read more →


Next-Battery, a start-up developing high energy-density Li-ion battery technology, has secured a strategic relationship with Lvchi Automobile Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd. LVCHI AUTO group is a whole value chain operation platform company that focuses on new electric vehicles (EV), with targeted annual production of more than 500,000 vehicles. The global... Read more →


Volvo Buses is participating in a research project in which used electric bus batteries are used as solar energy storage units. Batteries from electric bus route 55 in Gothenburg, Sweden are being used for solar energy storage in a second-life application. This is part of a research project in which... Read more →


Rechargeable fluoride-based batteries could offer very high energy density. However, current fluoride batteries use molten salt electrolytes, and thus need to operate at high temperatures. Now, a team of researchers from Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (managed by Caltech for NASA), the Honda Research Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory... Read more →