German carmaker Audi and utility EnBW are setting up an electric car battery operation at EnBW’s Heilbronn plant to build scaleable storage facilities by the end of this year, drawing on retired batteries to help power grids.
Electric vehicle battery recycling and reuse has become a priority for car and battery makers while renewable energy companies face the problem of how to absorb surpluses of wind and solar power to avoid waste and disruption to the stability of grids, slowing the transition to purely carbon-free energy systems.
With the automobile industry’s increased focus on development of EVs, the demand for high-performance, high-efficiency batteries is greater than ever before. Hyundai, for example, is planning to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by the year 2025, including 23 EVs.
The chosen start-ups will have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem, to develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories. The global competition offers start-ups the opportunity to showcase their respective innovative technologies and unique business models. Through the EVBC, the three sponsors aim to identify and secure core technology capabilities that will bring more value to their customers.
Nissan is expanding its global lineup of electric cars and e-POWER models. The company’s e-POWER technology consists of an electric motor that delivers power directly to the wheels, and an onboard gasoline engine that generates electricity for the motor. Nissan will expand the award-winning 100% electric motor-driven e-POWER technology globally into the B- and C-segments. Nissan expects to sell more than 1 million electrified vehicles annually by the end of fiscal year 2023.
Sunwoda has an established global track record in the development of lithium-ion batteries, mainly used in consumer electronics and automotive batteries. Nissan is confident that Sunwoda’s deep-rooted technological expertise will contribute to Nissan’s e-POWER strategy.
Further discussions by the companies will focus on combining Nissan’s expertise in electric vehicles and battery technology with Sunwoda’s next-generation battery development capabilities and production capacity, with an eye to strengthening competitiveness in the Chinese market and globally. The companies are also considering the joint establishment of a secure supply structure geared toward future global business opportunities.
Volkswagen has boosted its stake by $200 million in a San Jose, California, company that targets solid state battery technology, and the two partners are looking at setting up a pilot plant.
The German automaker, which is currently investing $800 million in its Chattanooga factory to make electric vehicles by 2022, said solid state batteries are expected to significantly increase range and shorten charging times.
VW already has invested more than $100 million in QuantumScape Corp. and is that company’s largest automotive shareholder.
LG Chem began mass production of NCM712 batteries in the 1st quarter of 2020.
These batteries dramatically cut down on the use of cobalt in electric vehicle batteries (7 parts nickel to 1 part cobalt to 2 parts manganese), thus helping to cut costs. These batteries also have greater energy density than previous batteries — but we don’t have an exact figure from LG Chem to share (naturally).
The Wroclaw LG Chem plant is the largest EV battery production facility in Europe and mostly produces batteries for the Renault Zoe and Volkswagen Group vehicles (such as the Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan). These particular batteries, “LGX E78” batteries, are reportedly being used in the Volkswagen ID.3 and new Renault Zoe.
LG Chem is using NCM712 cathode material for its battery production in Poland, TheElec confirmed Monday.
Use of NCM712, or nickel, cobalt and manganese in 7 to 1 to 2 ratio, will increase energy density of batteries which will increase travel distance per charge and lower the use of cobalt that will save cost, people familiar with the matter said.
LG Chem trialed the process late last year and begun mass production in the first quarter at its plant in Wroclaw, Poland, they said.
In addition to normal day-to-day commuting conditions, weekends might involve hauling a lot of gear, towing boats or jet-skis, or even navigating rocky or muddy off-road trails.
For EV batteries, it’s an extreme test considering the range of temperatures, load levels, and potential shock and vibration they’re subjected to. And that’s before considering the rigors of more frequent fast-charging during those road trips and getaways—partly via a supplemental network of adventure-location fast-chargers to be built by the company.
It adds up to a mind-boggling range of use cases. And in order to adapt to very different patterns for driving and charging, Rivian is using a battery management system that can “learn” and enhance the life of the pack via real-time adjustments to a lot of control patterns.
Tesla Inc has received government approval to build Model 3 vehicles in China equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a document on Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website showed.
“There are three (automakers) in the running right now for a joint venture on Badger, and we will announce who that is in the next few months,” Milton, who is also the company’s executive chairman, told Reuters.
The production of Badger, which will compete with electric car maker Tesla Inc’s Cybertruck, is set to start in 2022 or earlier, Milton said. The pickup truck will be available in both electric and fuel-cell versions.
Nikola’s Ulm factory has a capacity to produce 35,000 trucks a year, Milton said. The company will break ground this year for one more factory in Arizona that will produce 35,000 commercial trucks annually.
The decrease in EV sales will result in a 10% drop in demand for lithium-ion batteries to 71-gigawatt hours (GWh).
However, it expects long-term demand for EVs to be maintained. The group projects global EV sales to reach 26 million vehicles by 2030, 9% below its 2019 forecast of 28 million vehicles, and total lithium-ion battery demand for all end-users is expected to reach 2,000 GWh by 2030.
The lithium market will remain in balance, it says, with deficits for both lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate, critical ingredients for lithium-ion batteries. Bloomberg predicts that demand for lithium hydroxide will fall into deficit in 2021.