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Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

Global Transition Towards Electric Vehicles Poses Major Challenges.

It seems that not much has changed from the age of petrol-fueled vehicles to our current era of electric vehicles(EVs). Scientists are still grappling worldwide over the depleting availability of resources and the effective usage of those resources to meet the rising demand in the automotive industry.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


General Motors earlier this year announced their commitment towards being carbon neutral, and added that by 2035, all their vehicles will consist of zero tailpipe emissions. Audi, another leading multinational automotive manufacturer, pledges to end the production of combustion-engine by 2033.

With these two market leaders taking the leap forward to an all-electric future, many multinational companies are overwhelmed with the pressure to quickly transition to EVs to maintain their competitive edge but more importantly, meet the rising consumer demand. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis forecasts that by 2026, more than half of new passenger vehicles sold worldwide will be electric.

With the shift from fuel-intensive to material-intensive energy sources, there are two main concerns that scientists are struggling to resolve. Firstly, to reduce the usage of metal in batteries as it is scarce, expensive, environmentally toxic and working conditions hazardous to miners. Secondly, would be to create a recyclable battery system to maximise the utility of the valuable metals available.

Lithium-ion batteries are highly used in EVs due to their low cost which is 30 times cheaper than when they first entered the market in the early 1990s[1]. In addition, BNEF estimated that the current reserves of lithium— 21 million tonnes, according to the US Geological Survey — are enough to carry the conversion to EVs through to the mid-century.[2]  Hence, what concerns researches in EV batteries is Cobalt and Nickel.

In an attempt to address this issue, researches have been experimenting in removing both cobalt and nickel from the composition of EV batteries. However, to successfully remove them would radically transform the cathode materials. In recent years, Ceder’s team and other groups have displayed that certain lithium-rich rock salts were able to perform without the use of cobalt or nickel and yet remain stable in the process. In particular, they can be made with manganese, which is cheap and plentiful, Ceder says.[3]

To create a battery recycling system, another hurdle to overcome is the cost of recycling lithium. A potential solution would be through government support, which is seen in China where financial and regulatory incentives for battery companies are given to source materials from recycling firms instead of importing freshly mined ones, says Hans Eric Melin, managing director of Circular Energy Storage, a consulting company in London.

It is also problematic for manufacturers in their recycling efforts, when the chemistry of cathodes become obsolete at the end of the cars’ life cycle. In response to that, material scientist Andrew Abbott at the University of Leicester, UK developed a technique for separating out cathode materials using ultrasound. He adds that this method works effectively in battery cells that are packed flat rather than rolled up and can make recycled materials much cheaper than virgin mined metals.[4]

Scaling up the volume of lithium also aids in reducing the cost of recycling and this would make it economically viable for businesses to adopt it says Melin. The example of lead-acid batteries — the ones that start petrol-powered cars — gives reason for optimism.  “The value of a lead-acid battery is even lower than a lithium-ion battery. But because of volume, it makes sense to recycle anyway,” Melin says.[5]

With the collaborative effort among policymakers, researchers and manufacturers an all-electric future is an attainable reality.

References of Content:
Original Article Source: Davide Castelvecchi, 2021( https://t.co/amlXvXWs6E?amp=1 )

[1]  M. S. Ziegler & J. E. Trancik Energy Environ. Sci.2021

[2]  BloombergNEF. Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 (BNEF, 2021)

[3]  Yang, J. H., Kim, H. & Ceder, G. Molecules 26, 3173 (2021)

[4] Lei, C. et al. Green Chem. 23, 4710–4715 (2021)

[5] Melin, H. E. et al. Science 373, 384–387 (2021).

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New Lease On Life For Battery Swapping In Electric Vehicles

New Lease on Life For Battery Swapping In Electric Vehicles

 

Limited charging speed and availability have been major barriers to electric vehicle adoption, and fast-charging stations are currently the most popular way to quickly add range to vehicles. However, the additional power demands can stress the electrical grid, prompting reconsideration of other solutions like battery swapping, according to new analysis from Lux Research, a leading provider of tech-enabled research and innovation advisory services. Although battery swapping failed nearly a decade ago, it is now being considering for supporting taxi fleets in urban environments.

Lux’s new report, “Cost Comparison of Battery Swapping and Fast Charging for Electric Vehicles”, analyses and compares costs for deploying battery swapping infrastructure to support electric taxis in cities and offers insight on how promising battery swapping can be as a fast-charging alternative. Lux developed and used a model to perform a cost analysis of infrastructure supporting an electric fleet of taxis in two different countries – the UK and China.

“Instead of quickly charging the battery, battery swapping solutions aim to physically replace a depleted battery with a charged one,” explains Christopher Robinson, Director of Research at Lux Research and lead author of the report. “Battery swapping can address two main challenges with fast charging: It slowly charges depleted batteries to minimize grid impact and battery degradation, and it allows for faster addition of range in electric vehicles.”

Using the model developed by Lux analysts, the report drew several interesting conclusions:

Battery replacement costs are crucial for keeping costs low for any infrastructure. Faster charging minimizes taxi downtime but increases the rate of battery degradation. Factoring in battery replacements due to faster charging makes 50kW charging the cheapest form of charging.

Battery swapping is most competitive for large fleet sizes. In China, battery swapping is the cheapest and fastest solution for powering electric vehicles, even in small fleets of just 100 vehicles, while in Europe, the costs are roughly equal.

China has cemented its position as a leader in battery swapping deployments and will remain the most promising region for the technology. Due to a combination of favorable economics, local companies that have commercialized the technology, and favorable government policies, clients should closely watch activity in the region as a leading indicator of adoption elsewhere.

As battery swapping networks grow, new opportunities for cost reduction emerge. While fast charging stations have the benefit of a decade of deployments and refinement, battery swapping is still in its nascent stages, with deployments accelerating rapidly over the past two years.

 

 

Achieving Global Market Access For XEV Battery Systems

Achieving Global Market Access For xEV Battery Systems

The market for advanced electric vehicles (xEVs) is continuing to expand worldwide. Developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are facing growing numbers of regulations and standards addressing the safety and performance of the battery systems used to power these vehicles. Although many of these regulations touch on similar considerations, there are also important differences that must be taken into account during the various stages of battery design. Further, the regulatory approval process in key markets is often unique to a given country, and the successful navigation of this process requires a specific approach.

TÜV SÜD has published a new white paper to discuss the key safety and performance issues that must be addressed in all xEV battery designs as well as the special requirements applicable to xEV battery systems in the EU, the USA, China and other major markets worldwide.

“The continual innovation and high quality of batteries and battery systems will be a key factor in boosting consumers’ acceptance of xEVs. For the manufacturers of xEV batteries and battery systems, market access for their products depends on how successfully they can fulfil the requirements and standards of the regulatory authorities in the major automotive markets of the world,” said Johannes Roessner, Global Focus Segment Manager, New Energy Vehicles at TÜV SÜD and author of the white paper.

Evaluation of the safety and performance of chargeable batteries and battery systems is a critical element in the development of xEVs and xEV technologies. International standards play a major role in this process, and compliance with the requirements of the standard contributes to improving battery safety. Validation of safety, right from the design and development process, further paves the way for the products to pass the tests required by the regulatory authorities.

The OEMs of xEV batteries and battery systems must foresee the complexity and challenges involved in different homologation issues in key automotive markets and be prepared to tackle them. By working proactively with third-party expert organisations to address these issues in advance, OEMs can proceed more efficiently and effectively and achieve faster global access for their products.

 

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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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IDTechEx Report Reviews How Nickel Is Replacing Cobalt In Electric Vehicles

IDTechEx Report Reviews How Nickel Is Replacing Cobalt In Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle powertrains are much more materially diverse than the internal-combustion engine vehicles they replace. As a result, they are putting sudden and unprecedented strain on several raw materials industries.

One of the most crucial materials is Nickel, an essential part of the cathode in the Li-ion batteries enabling electrification. Most automakers utilise Nickel-based batteries for their balance of energy and power density; for example BMW, Hyundai and Renault use variants of the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry, while Tesla uses a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA) chemistry. China also now favors NMC chemistries, having phased out Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) chemistries which is its subsidy program.

In 2019, more than 95 percent of new electric passenger cars sold used a variant of either NMC or NCA, as detailed in the IDTechEx report “Materials for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030“. Demand for Nickel is further amplified by the trend towards higher Nickel content in cells, as manufacturers switch to chemistries like NMC 622 or 811 over the previous 111 and 523, to improve energy density further and reduce dependence on Cobalt.

Nickel is the most expensive material in electric vehicle batteries after Cobalt and is also one of the most highly used outside of the battery industry. While Nickel is often not discussed as much as Cobalt or Lithium, sustainable and environmentally conscious supply is becoming more of an issue.

In 2017, the Philippines government suspended nearly half of its Nickel mines, citing environmental concerns. Moreover, Indonesia accounts for the largest supply of Nickel and in 2019 the country banned exports of raw Nickel ore to boost their domestic processing industry. Indonesia also has the most planned developments for increasing Nickel production and is set to dominate the supply chain.

One of the issues is Nickel is typically mined from ores that contain only a very small percentage of useful Nickel, resulting in a large amount of waste material. Recently it has been announced that two Nickel mining companies in Indonesia are planning to use deep-sea disposal for the raw material waste into the Coral Triangle as they ramp up operations. Less than 20 Nickel mines worldwide use deep-sea disposal, but these new facilities would account for millions of tonnes of waste material each year. This method is typically used because it is cheaper than the alternatives of dam storage or converting the raw materials to useful products.

Many automakers are aware of the environmental concerns in Nickel supply and that it can undermine the environmentally friendly message of the electric vehicle. Most, including the likes of PSA, VW and Tesla, have pledged to reduce the environmental impact of their batteries. This becomes challenging as the choice of suppliers that can meet the demands of these large automotive companies are limited. In the future, Nickel producers will have to prove that their practices are environmentally friendly if they want to sell into the European and American markets, where the automotive industry is making this a priority. Elon Musk has been quoted as saying that Tesla would give a “giant contract” to any companies that could mine Nickel “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way” (Financial Times).

As the electric vehicle market grows with the trend towards higher Nickel chemistries, IDTechEx expects the demand for Nickel from electric vehicle batteries to increase ten-fold by 2030 compared to 2019. This makes the environmentally-conscious supply of Nickel a serious issue going forward for the electric vehicle market.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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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Toyota Motor Opens Battery Recycling Plant In Thailand

Toyota Motor Opens Battery Recycling Plant In Thailand

Toyota Motor Thailand has opened a battery life cycle management plant in Chachoengsao to circulate batteries of hybrid cars sold in Thailand. The company has shifted its battery recycling operations from Europe to Thailand to strengthen its commitment in sustainability and eco-friendly cars.

As part of Toyota Motor’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Life Cycle Management (3R Scheme) project, the new facility will collect and inspect used batteries and sort them into three types of usage, depending on the level of deterioration. High-efficiency modules will be reassembled and sold at a third of the price of new batteries, moderate-efficiency modules are reused as storage cells for buildings and factories, while low-efficiency modules will be sent to Japan for extraction of reusable raw materials like nickel to produce new hybrid batteries. The facility will be able to diagnose 10,000 units and recycle 20,000 units a year.

“We believe that the 3R Scheme will significantly reduce the cost of hybrid batteries, mitigate negative environmental impact and establish a solid foundation in preparation for the future growth of the electrified vehicle market,” said Michinobu Sugata, president of Toyota Motor Thailand.

Toyota has invested US$622 million on hybrid vehicle production in Thailand and plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid cars a year and produce 70,000 batteries at the Chachoengsao plant.

 

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Metal Forming Sector Positive In India

Metal Forming Sector Positive In India

India: The Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association’s (IMTMA) president P Ramadas said that the country’s machine tool industry is expected to grow around 20 per cent in 2017-18, and the metal forming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 15 per cent in the next three years.

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