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Rise In Demand For EVs To Reduce Carbon Footprint Creates Opportunities In Lithium-Ion Battery Packs Market

Rise In Demand For EVs To Reduce Carbon Footprint Creates Opportunities In Lithium-Ion Battery Packs Market

The emergence of lithium-ion batteries has been phenomenal. With the rising awareness about environmental conservation around the world, many individuals switched toward buying products or items that have a lower negative impact on the environment. As lithium-ion battery packs are used extensively in such products, the market will expand at a healthy CAGR of 11 percent across the forecast period of 2021-2031, to surpass a valuation of US$ 120.3 bn by 2031 according to a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR).

Lithium-ion battery packs are rechargeable batteries mainly used for electric vehicles and portable electronic items. These battery packs are eco-friendly alternatives to store energy and do not contain high levels of heavy metals that are harmful to the environment. All these aspects act as prominent growth generators for the lithium-ion battery packs market.

The demand for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles has increased exponentially across various regions. The growing demand for these vehicles has led to an increase in the demand for lithium-ion battery packs, which will positively influence the growth of the global market for lithium-ion battery packs market.

Furthermore, government bodies of numerous countries are increasing their efforts to reduce carbon emissions across their regions. Various agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement have been signed to speed up the process of decarbonisation. Densely populated countries like India are encouraging the production of electric vehicles through initiatives like Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) and others. Thus, these factors are helping in increasing the growth opportunities across the lithium-ion battery packs market.

 

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TRUMPF Commits To E-Mobility And Sustainable Battery Production

TRUMPF Commits To E-Mobility And Sustainable Battery Production

The TRUMPF Group’s corporate venture capital unit has acquired a minority stake in the US start-up Battery Resourcers. Headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts, Battery Resourcers has developed an efficient and eco-friendly process for recycling lithium-ion batteries. Unlike conventional methods that start by breaking down batteries into their separate chemical components, this new approach directly synthesizes new battery-ready cathode active materials from spent lithium-ion cells.

“The new recycling process developed by Battery Resourcers enhances the sustainability of e-mobility. It keeps scarce resources available in the circular economy, cuts the cost of manufacturing new battery cells, and saves energy in the production process,” says Dieter Kraft, Managing Director of TRUMPF Venture. The new technology recovers 97 percent of the metals contained in the battery cell, reducing cathode cost by 35 percent which compares well to manufacturing a new cell from virgin material. It also reduces production emissions by around 32 percent and energy consumption by 13 percent.

Lithium-ion batteries lie at the heart of most of today’s commercial electric vehicles. They are made from materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt, which are expensive to mine and, in some cases, unsustainable. This is why the industry is determined to find the most efficient way to recycle battery cells.

“Our aim is to establish a sustainable value chain for lithium-ion batteries. Our technology can recycle almost all the materials used in cell production – not just for the batteries used in e-mobility, but also for the kinds of smaller batteries found in consumer electronics as well as large, industrial storage batteries regardless of their Lithium-Ion-based chemistries,” says Mike O’Kronley, CEO Battery Resourcers. Conventional recycling options are based on complex processes that mechanically crush the battery cells and chemically separate the mix of materials into individual purified constituent elements such as nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium. The new method developed by Battery Resourcers eliminates much of this chemical processing by allowing the material mix to be turned into new active cathode material without the separation step, still resetting all memory from previous applications.

“This is a field that will be vitally important in the future. By investing in Battery Resourcers’ promising technology, we’re reinforcing our commitment to e-mobility,” says Kraft. As a key provider of high-tech manufacturing equipment, TRUMPF already plays an important role in driving forward e-mobility. The company’s systems and machines are ideally designed for tasks such as cutting sheet-metal components for battery housings and foils, and TRUMPF lasers are the perfect choice for welding battery cells, electronic contacts and electric motors.

 

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BMW And Ford Lead $130 Million Investment In Start-Up For Solid-State Batteries

BMW And Ford Lead $130 million Investment In Start-Up For Solid-State Batteries

Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles has announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.

The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilise Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialisation efforts.”

Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.

Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and the BMW Group late last year, formalising Solid Power’s commercialisation plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.

“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”

“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for BMW. The development of all solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development.

Solid Power is currently producing 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries on the company’s continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilises industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.

Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion battery cells.

 

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Globaldata: VW Group Bets Big On Industrial Scale To Counter Tesla

Globaldata: VW Group Bets Big On Industrial Scale To Counter Tesla

Following Volkswagen (VW) Group’s annual results conference for investors at which it set out its transformation to ‘new auto’ which includes the switch to electric drives;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Volkswagen is turning to its natural industrial strength – especially in the form of standardised technical foundations and engineering architectures that can be spread across multiple brands to leverage scale economies.

Now though, it has to manage a platform roadmap that includes much software as well as hardware and brings together critical advanced technologies on platforms that must deliver the promised improved performance at much lower cost.

Much hinges on VW’s new unified battery cell and six yet to be built cell-making ‘gigafactories’ in Europe that VW believes can reduce the cost of its battery cells by up to 50 percent by 2030.

If VW can follow its ambitious roadmap for e-mobility and leverage the scale economies it is targeting, it will certainly be competitive in the rapidly growing global electric car market and a credible rival for current market leader Tesla.

“As well as its industrial scale, VW also has the advantage of continuing to sell combustion engine cars – at higher margins than is possible with electric cars – in markets around the world to help finance the shift to electric over the next ten years. Unlike some other carmakers, VW has notably not set a date for going ‘all electric’.”

 

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Laser Applications In The Production Of Li-Ion Battery Cells And Packs

Laser Applications in the Production of Li-Ion Battery Cells and Packs

The laser is at the center of many solutions when it comes to the global e-mobility trend. Here are a few examples of laser cutting applications in battery cell manufacturing and assembly. Article by Trumpf.

The worldwide mobility transition is in full swing. The demand for components for electric cars and alternative drives is rising continually. In particular, high-performance components directly involved in the production of batteries, electric motors and power electronics for electromobility are at the center. More and more companies, predominately automotive suppliers, are also demanding new manufacturing solutions and technologies for alternative drive concepts, including the fuel cell.

The laser is at the center of many solutions. It connects battery cells into modules or packs. It ensures tightness and crash safety when joining battery packs and trays. It scores highly thanks to its green wavelength when copper welding contact parts without spatter. And it provides high-tensile connections in e-drives, which withstand the highly dynamic requirements.

Manufacturing Battery Cells

Battery cell manufacturing is subdivided into electrode manufacturing and cell assembly. Electrode manufacturing requires a high variety of different process steps: mixing of the slurry, coating, drying, calendaring as well as shaping, folding and stacking of the coated electrode foil. Some of them required laser technology:

  • Micro structuring of the electrode surface with ultra-short pulse lasers, for example, reduces subsequently the charging time of battery cells.
  • Drying of electrodes with VCSEL laser technology to complement conventional drying ovens by reducing the footprint and increase efficiency.
  • Cutting and shaping of coated electrode foils with ns lasers into the required format, increasing quality and productivity. Common foil materials are aluminium (cathode) with a 5-14 µm thickness as well as copper (anode) with a thickness of 9-13 µm. Very often, these foils are coated. Cutting these foils with TruFiber laser sources enables burrs of less than 5 µm and HAZ of less than 40µm. 

In the cell assembly, the steps are contacting, packaging, formation, and aging. Laser technology is used here mainly in welding applications for the internal contacting of battery cell components and the closing of prismatic cell formats:

  • Green laser wavelength for the very defined and repeatable welding of copper materials.
  • High power IR lasers combined with Trumpf’s BrightLineWeld technology for spatter free welding of aluminium or copper materials.

Both laser applications enable the highest mechanical strength and lowest electrical resistance in welding of ≤100 foils together to a stack.

On the cell level, besides these different welding applications, there are also some upcoming laser applications for surface processing like cleaning, de-coating or micro structuring with short or ultra-short pulse lasers.

Process stability is a key factor in the battery cell production. Therefore, all these laser technologies have a direct impact on the efficiency and performance of the battery.

Battery Module Assembly

After the battery cell manufacturing process, the single cells will be assembled to a battery module. The electronics and battery pack assembly have an enormous variance of different module designs. But all are based on prismatic, pouch or cylindrical cell formats.

Laser technology is used in welding of busbars, meaning the electrical contacting of single cells to a battery module, or other current carrying components. Due to the enormous number of different designs, material combinations and thicknesses, the full TRUMPF laser portfolio in terms of power, wavelength, beam quality is applied.

  • Especially for thicker aluminium busbars with welding depths mostly >2 mm and welding speeds of minimum 100 mm per second, the TruDisk laser series with patented beam shaping technology BrightLineWeld is the best choice since every single weld must be exactly the same and spatter projections must be avoided.
  • For the welding of dissimilar material combination like Al/Cu or Al/steal, we mostly recommend single mode IR lasers with a very high beam quality e.g. you can use the TruFiber Series for such applications. These lasers create a very small intermetallic phase in the welding seam, which is important for a strong joint of materials with quite different melting temperatures. By using different welding patterns, you can join Al with Cu or even the other way around. Typically, by oscillating the laser beam with a scanner optic to increase the cross-section area. For the contacting of cylindrical cells, the sheet thicknesses are usually in the range 0.2 – 0.5mm, and many times dissimilar material combinations or with coatings.

For most of the installations in battery and module manufacturing, TRUMPF lasers, optics and sensors are integrated in automated high-volume production lines, while its TruLaser Station and TruLaser Cell series are suitable in small- and medium-production volumes.

 

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Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved the roll out of a comprehensive set of incentives covering all major aspects of the Electric Vehicles (EV) supply chain, with a focus on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), local production of critical parts, and the inclusion of commercial vehicles of all sizes as well as ships.

The board also approved 35.7 billion baht (US$1.1 billion) worth of large investment projects in several sectors.

“In line with the Government policy to promote electric vehicles across the board, and to answer the radical changes underway in the global car industry, the BOI today approved a package that will accelerate the development of EV production and related supply chain in Thailand, and allow the entire sector to move into higher gear,” said Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.

New Package For EV

The new promotion package, which replaces the first EV package which expired in 2018, covers a comprehensive range of electrical vehicles, namely passenger cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, tricycles, and ships.

Incentive schemes for these different types of electric vehicles can be summarised as follows:

  • Four wheelers: Qualified projects with a total investment package worth at least 5 billion baht will be granted a 3-year tax holidays for PHEVs, but as for BEVs, an 8-year corporate income tax exemption period will be offered and will be extendable in case of R&D investment/expenditures.
  • Motorcycles, three-wheelers, buses and trucks: Qualified projects will be granted 3-year corporate income tax exemption, extendable if meeting additional requirements.
  • Electric-powered ship production projects, for vessels with less than 500 gross tonnage, will be eligible for eight years of corporate income tax exemption.

The BOI also approved to add four more types of EV parts in the list of critical parts, namely high voltage harness, reduction gear, battery cooling system and regenerative braking system. These four categories will all receive eight years corporate tax exemptions.

To promote local EV battery production, the BOI also approved additional incentives for the production of both battery modules and battery cells for the local market by granting a 90 percent reduction of import duties for two years on raw or essential materials not available locally.

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Marposs Takes Part In Battery Alliance

Marposs Takes Part In Battery Alliance

During the ongoing clean energy transition, Marposs is working with a diversity of key industrial actors, research technology centers and universities to face the main objective of the European Commission: build a competitive, sustainable and innovative battery ecosystem in Europe, covering the entire value chain.

This is the main objective behind the European Battery Alliance (EBA), an industry-led initiative, which the Commission launched back in October 2017, to support the scaling up of innovative solutions and manufacturing capacity in Europe. 

The demand for batteries is expected to grow very rapidly in the coming years, making this market an increasingly strategic one at global level. This trend is further reinforced by the new and comprehensive legislative and governance framework for the Energy Union, successfully adopted under the European Commission to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, secure and competitive EU economy.

The shared vision for Marposs and European Battery Alliance is to realise the batteries of the future, providing European manufacturers with disruptive technologies and a competitive edge across the full production process. EBA will pursue high-performance, high-quality, reliable and sustainable batteries production system, by a cross-disciplinary research approach, leveraging advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and smart systems.

The technology developed will have an invaluable impact on the ongoing transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy.

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Formula Student Team Used AM To Produce Oil Cooling System For Electric Racers

Formula Student Team Used AM To Produce Oil Cooling System For Electric Racers

The Formula Student team from Stuttgart solved the thermal stress issues in electric racers by creating an oil cooling system though additive manufacturing (AM). Article by EOS. 

Racers must keep a cool head—and their cars should not overheat either. This applies equally to racing cars with combustion engines and electric motors. The difference: in fuel-fired racers the engine has to be tempered, in electric vehicles this must be considered in particular for the accumulator. The Formula Student team from Stuttgart has solved this task in the truest sense of the word with an additively manufactured oil cooling system and support from EOS.

Challenge

A complex battery system requires powerful heat dissipation—no big deal thanks to additive manufacturing. (Source: GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart)

A battery—as accumulators are called today—for an electric car has diva-like characteristics. It needs to be treated with caution. This applies not only to mechanical stress, but also to thermal stress: It doesn’t like temperatures that are too high or too low. The reason for this is the behaviour of the electron flow: If it is too cold, the electrons do not migrate fast enough for the maximum power output due to the higher internal resistance. If the temperature is too high, for example if the maximum power output is maintained for a longer period or if the climate is simply hot, there is a risk that membranes will be destroyed or that they will age more rapidly, even to the extent of the so-called thermal runaway. 

In order to guarantee an optimum working range, appropriate systems are necessary; liquid-based solutions have the advantage that they can also heat the cells and thus maintain high performance – which is of course of central importance in racing. Oil cooling systems offer very good properties for the battery, but can only be realized with great effort using traditional construction methods: The filled quantity should be kept as low as possible in order to save weight. This also reduces space requirements, which plays a major role not only in tightly cut racing cars.

“In addition, the flow characteristics in the system are important for achieving a high volumetric flow rate,” says Florian Fröhlich from the Stuttgart Formula Student GreenTeam. “Several aspects have to be considered in order to secure an optimum flow velocity, including the expedient design and the lowest possible surface resistance.”

The aim of the racing team was to ensure that a major part of the fluid constantly circulates in the area of the cell flags. Additionally, as oil is quite aggressive, the chosen material must feature a certain level of chemical resistance, while at the same time it must follow the lightweight character of the entire project. High fire resistance is obligatory in racing anyway.

Solution

The young racing team set to work with this sporty technical wish list. Simulations on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) resulted in the expedient design of the cooling system, which is made up of flux direction parts and inlet devices. The geometry was optimized in such a way, that a consistent flow is created through the outlets with their compact design and high surface quality. Due to the planned construction geometry and the incorporated hollow structures as well as, of course, the very small number of units, additive manufacturing was the best choice for the production process: The required flow properties would not have been reproducible with traditional methods.

 

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GPSC Invests THB 1.1 Billion In Developing Thailand’s First Semi-Solid Battery Plant

GPSC Invests THB 1.1 Billion In Developing Thailand’s First Semi-Solid Battery Plant

Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited (GPSC) is developing Thailand’s first semi-solid battery pilot plant in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. GPSC has signed a THB 295 million construction contract with Thai Takasago Co., Ltd., a professional Japanese company with extensive experiences in battery plant construction and the total investment of this battery plant (including machines and equipment) is estimated at THB 1.1 billion.

READ: Thailand Sets Sight on Industry 4.0

This project worth over THB 1.1 Billion will have a total capacity of 30 megawatt-hours (MWh), due to complete and commence operation by December 2020. Furthermore, GPSC plans to expand its power capacity up to 100MWh in 2021.

READ: Thailand To Lead In EV Battery Manufacturing And Assembly

Depending on future demand, GPSC will consider building a new giga scale commercial battery plant with potential partners from power industry, electric vehicle manufacturing industry and other related industries in preparation for the increasing demand in the future, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and new smart city development, which help increase competitive advantage in energy businesses.

READ: Toyota Motor Opens Battery Recycling Plant In Thailand

“GPSC is PTT Group’s flagship in power business, which has been focusing on developing new S-Curve innovation to align with disruptive technology. The battery plant will lead GPSC to be a leading energy management solution provider, using unique technology from 24M Technologies (a Boston based semi solid lithium ion battery licensor), GPSC aim to produce and distribute the battery produced from this plant in Thailand and ASEAN market,” said Mr. Chawalit Tippawanich, President and Chief Executive Officer, GPSC.

“GPSC plans to produce the battery to serve the needs of PTT Group at initial stage and will expand to Thailand and ASEAN market to meet rising demand in the region particularly in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines,” added Mr. Chawalit.

 

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TISI Collaborates With TAI To Open Electric Vehicle Battery Testing Center

TISI Collaborates With TAI To Open Electric Vehicle Battery Testing Center

Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), the Ministry of Industry and Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) held the Ground-breaking Ceremony for the Electric Vehicle Battery Testing Center which will be operating in 2020 with the first fully integrated battery safety and standard testing services in ASEAN with international standards, UNECE R100 and R136 and  to be the forefront of the electric vehicle industry development in the region.

 

TAI is the agency which has been accredited by the laboratory of ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 from TISI to be a testing unit for automotive and auto parts standards as specified and continuously develop  the Testing and Research Center to enhance the capability to support the next-generation automotive industry in the future.  Establishing the Electric Vehicle Battery Testing Center under the support of TISI, the Ministry of Industry and TÜV SÜD target to push the next-generation automotive and auto parts industry to be a sustainable forefront of ASEAN.

Mr.Wanchai Panomchai, Secretary General of TISI presided over the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Electric Vehicle Battery Testing Center at Automotive and Tyre Testing, Research and Innovation Center (ATTRIC), Sanam Chai Khet, Chachoengsao.  He said that the production of automotive industry is currently transforming to “Next-Generation Automotive Industry” by focusing on the electric vehicles production with environmental friendliness.  And TISI’s mission to upgrade the domestic industrial product standards and accreditation according to international standards to support the capability enhancement of product testing laboratories to be ready and able to support testing of various components relating to the next-generation automotive production and give advice on domestic testing, research and innovation.

Therefore this electric vehicle battery testing center needs full support to help domestic operators, especially EV battery testing which can reduce their costs and time to send their products for testing abroad and also being consultant and database to enhance technical knowledge, research, and new innovations with cooperation from the government sector, leading companies related in the automotive and auto-parts industry.

Mr.Adisak Rohitasune, Acting President of TAI said that the construction progress of electric vehicle battery testing center at ATTRIC has been proceeded as plan e.g. the modern design, contractor selection and construction start with the investment budget over 300 million baht for the whole project of building and instruments.  In the initial phase, the batteries can be tested immediately 5 of 9 tests according to international standards UNECE R100 such as mechanical integrity test, external short circuit protection test, overcharge protection test, over-discharge protection test and over-temperature protection test which will be operating in the 3rd quarter of 2020 and expect for full service operation with all tests within 2021.

It will become the EV battery testing center with the most integrated service in ASEAN and this laboratory will be able to test the battery safety in accordance with the UNECE R100 standards for motor vehicles and UNECE R136 standards for motorcycles including testing capability for research and development to improve the battery performance in cell, module and system level.

Currently, The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has approved 4 investment applications for Hybrid, 4 applications for Plug-in Hybrid and 1 application for BEV and 1 application waiting for BOI approval.  In addition, 4 investment companies have already opened for EV battery production to help pushing EV safety standards and upgrade product standards and consumer product safety requirements for the highest testing standards.

 

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