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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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).... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

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... Details →

Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group form automotive battery JV; Aston Martin launch customer

Two UK-based companies—Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group—have formed a new joint venture—Hyperbat Limited—to produce batteries for future hybrid and electric vehicles. The move has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as a significant step forward in the UK’s contribution to reducing... Details →

Solid-state battery company Solid Power closes $20M in Series A; Hyundai, Samsung, A123 among investors

Solid Power, a developer of all solid-state batteries (ASSB), closed $20 million in a Series A investment round. The Series A funding will allow the company to scale-up production via a multi-MWh roll-to-roll facility, which will be fully constructed and installed by the end of 2018 and fully operational in... Details →

Li-ion battery-maker Farasis Energy raises $1B+ to accelerate global automotive battery manufacturing expansion

Farasis Energy, a global developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion cells, modules and large battery systems, recently completed C-round financing exceeding 1 Billion US dollars. The compay will use the capital raised to accelerate the expansion of its global automotive battery manufacturing infrastructure. Presently, Farasis has two production bases in China:... Details →

Although rechargeable lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries promise high energy density storage—particularly attractive for electric vehicle applications—the technology is currently limited by the shuttling polysulfides between the battery’s electrodes. Polysulfides deteriorate the lithium side of the battery and reduce its ability to hold charge. Now, Mohamed Alkordi at Zewail City of Science... Details →

DOE selects 42 advanced vehicle technology research projects for $80 million in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 projects for $80 million in funding to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Selected projects cover the following areas: Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high... Details →

The US Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is awarding nearly $3 million to 13 projects to stimulate the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing. The US DOE national laboratories have some of the most significant high performance computing (HPC) resources available,... Details →

New dual-salt electrolyte enables stable cycling of Li metal batteries

The use of lithium metal as an anode offers a range of benefits for those seeking rechargeable high-energy density systems: ultrahigh theoretical capacity (3860 mAh g−1); low density (0.59 g cm−3); and the most negative electrochemical potential (−3.040 V vs standard hydrogen electrode). However, viable application has been hampered by... Details →

Chemists from the University of Waterloo have successfully resolved two of the most challenging issues surrounding lithium-oxygen batteries, and in the process created a working battery with near 100% coulombic efficiency. The new work, published in Science, shows that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The Waterloo team... Details →

Low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries; it is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long time to charge fully—some 10 to 12 hours for a solid-state battery. Now, researchers at Jülich Forschungzentrum have introduced a new concept battery that... Details →

Roskill: LG Chem locks-in more raw material to meet future Li-ion battery demand

South Korean lithium-ion battery (LIB) cell manufacturer LG Chem recently announced it will increase cell manufacturing capacity to 90 GWh in 2020 from a previous forecast of 70 GWh. Assuming 100% of output was to be NMC532, 90 GWh would require around 100kt of cathode, containing 40kt nickel, 22kt cobalt,... Details →

High growth in demand for lithium batteries is spurring three-fold growth in mine production of lithium over the next four years, with 86kt of new lithium metal capacity coming on stream, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. After moderate growth in lithium supply between 2010 and 2017 of 6.4%... Details →

Rolls-Royce is launching a lithium-ion based energy storage system for ships. Rolls-Royce has been delivering energy storage systems since 2010, however the actual energy storage units were previously supplied by an external party. Illustration of a ship system setup with batteries. This example shows a hybrid system for a tugboat.... Details →

CELEST, largest German research platform for electrochemical storage, begins operation

The Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe (CELEST), the largest German research platform for electrochemical, comprising research into Li-ion batteries, post-Li technologies, fuel cells, and redox-flow batteries, has begun operation. CELEST combines finding-oriented research with close-to-practice development and innovative production technology. CELEST pools the know-how of 29 institutes... Details →

Nano One Materials has launched a project focused on improving the durability of lithium-ion cathode materials with the support of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP will support Nano One’s project to develop Coatings for High Durability Lithium ion Battery Cathodes and... Details →

U Mich team demonstrates high current densities and extended cycling with solid electrolyte

Researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor have combined recent developments in reducing interface resistance and optimizing microstructure to develop a solid electrolyte that demonstrates Li cycling at current densities competitive with Li-ion. Next generation electric vehicles and consumer electronics demand volumetric energy densities beyond that capable of state-of-the-art Li-ion... Details →

Tropos Motors has released the new eXtended Range, ABLE XR low-speed electric utility vehicle. Powered by a 26 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the ABLE XR offers four times more range (up to 160 miles) compared to the standard ABLE configurations, and nearly three times more than its closest competition in... Details →

A team of researchers from institutions in China and the US report the design of a negatively charged graphene composite separator for the effective suppression of the polysulfide shuttling effect in Li-sulfur batteries. The negatively charged 3D porous structure effectively inhibits the translocation of negatively charged polysulfide ions to enable... Details →

A team from Tohoku University and Tokyo Tech have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries, reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those... Details →

Daimler joins multiple initiatives for a sustainable raw material supply chain; future focus on battery cell supply chain

Daimler has joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, the Responsible Mineral Initiative, the Responsible Steel Initiative and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative. Joining the four initiatives takes a product’s entire life cycle into account—from development, via procurement and production to recycling. As part of the offensive for a sustainable raw material supply... Details →

Cobalt Blockchain and DLT Labs form JV to release Mintrax blockchain platform for mineral traceability

Cobalt Blockchain Inc.(COBC) and DLT Labs Inc. finalized a joint venture agreement to commercialize Mintrax, a fully-functional blockchain platform providing secure and transparent methods for tracking the provenance of metals and minerals through the entire mining supply chain from source to end-user. COBC intends to provide conflict-free cobalt to address... Details →

Rahul Panat, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon in collaboration with Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a new method of aerosol jet (AJ) 3-D printing battery electrodes that creates a 3-D microlattice structure with controlled... Details →

Jilin team improves hydrogen storage alloys to boost performance of NiMH batteries

Researchers at Jilin University in China have proposed a new strategy for designing hydrogen storage alloys with high capacity and long cycling life to improve the discharge capacity and cycling life of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Their candidate alloy—La0.62Mg0.08Ce0.2Y0.1Ni3.25Co0.75Mn0.2Al0.3 [corresponding to (LaCeYMg) (NiCoMnAl)4.5] exhibits a high capacity of 326.7... Details →

Researchers from Nanjing University have developed a new method for the extraction of lithium metal from seawater using solar-powered electrolysis with a NASICON solid-state electrolyte as the selective membrane. In a paper in the journal Joule, they report that their electrolysis method made the lithium extraction process faster and more... Details →