One or perhaps the biggest challenge of transiting to electric transportation is the lack of the efficient battery packs. Many companies, universities, and other organizations are putting their utmost effort to improve the capacity, quality and efficiency of the cells and battery packs.
In very simple words, a battery pack is a combination of cells that stores electrical energy to provide power to an electrical system, like Electric Vehicle (EV) or an Energy Storage System (ESS). The energy is stored in cells that are all connected to one another in the battery pack.
In this article, I will highlight a few recent developments in this field, which are quite significant and may play a major role in the coming days to aid transition from IC engine-based vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
L600 Astroinno cell and battery pack
The 12th Science and Technology Conference of Gotion High-Tech commenced at Hefei, Anhui Province, China on May 19, 2023. The conference was graced by the presence of 16 academicians from various countries and more than 100 famous experts and scholars, who exchanged their innovative ideas.
Gotion took the opportunity to release its latest innovative LMFP L600 Astroinno cell and battery pack, which pioneered the 1,000 km range without NCM (Nickel, Cobalt and Manganese). In his inaugural speech, Olaf Korzinovski, Executive Vice President of Volkswagen China, informed that China is a leading player in the electric mobility value chain and Volkswagen is investing extensively in electrification and digitalization, building strong partnerships with Chinese companies, as evidenced by its investment in Gotion High-Tech. Thanks to the R&D and manufacturing capabilities of Gotion High-tech, the partnership has made solid progress. The two companies are working together to develop new technologies, which will make electric vehicles with Gotion batteries more popular among customers. Volkswagen is building a complete electric mobility ecosystem in Anhui Province, integrating Volkswagen’s strengths in manufacturing, R&D, procurement, sales and software to promote new concept electrification and smart EVs. He looked forward to the strong synergy between Gotion High-tech and Volkswagen China’s entities in Anhui to drive the future development of electric mobility technology.
Executive Vice President Volkswagen China
Explaining the technology behind the Astroinno L600 battery, Dr. Qian Cheng, Executive President of Gotion Global, informed that in order to break through the bottleneck of energy density of LFP battery, manganese doped as called Lithium Iron Manganese Phosphate (LMFP) was developed. Gotion has focused on the research and development of LMFP materials for the past decade. By utilizing co-precipitation, doping encapsulation technology, new granulation technology and new electrolyte additives, it has solved the problems of Mn leaching at high temperature, low electrical conductivity and low press density of LMFP batteries. In addition, the Cleveland Institute in Ohio, USA, has developed a new electrolyte for LMFP, which greatly improves the high-temperature cycling and storage performance. Using in-house developed LMFP materials and electrolyte, Gotion has successfully developed Astroinno L600 battery cell.
Astroinno L600 LMFP cell has achieved 240 Wh/kg in gravimetric energy density and 525Wh/L for volumetric energy density. It can achieve more than 4,000 cycles at room temperature and 1800 cycles at high temperature, easily achieves 18 minutes of fast charging, and passes all safety tests. Gotion L600 battery cells are expected to start mass production in 2024.
Toyota technical workshop
Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) recently held a technical briefing session, “Toyota Technical Workshop,” under the theme “Let’s Change the Future of Cars” and announced a variety of new technologies that will support its transformation into a mobility company.
On the vehicle axis, through technologies such as the integration of next-generation batteries and sonic technology, Toyota will achieve a vehicle cruising range of 1,000 km. According to the latest available information, Toyota’s next-generation battery EVs will adopt new batteries, through which they are determined to become a world leader in battery EV energy consumption.
Inauguration of BPAC in Tianjin
PPG has inaugurated a Battery Pack Application Center (BPAC) in Tianjin, China. The $30-million facility features a full range of capabilities to test the application of PPG coatings technologies, materials and systems for Electric Vehicle (EV) battery packs, allowing customers to accelerate the development of new EV technologies.
Commenting on the development, Vincent Robin, PPG’s Global Vice President, Automotive Coatings, said, “The new application center is an important milestone in our effort to support our customers in China in the EV battery market. The new facility will be an important way for customers to validate our customizable coatings solutions that help them reduce application cost, increase battery life, range and charging speed, and contribute to occupant safety.“
The BPAC will include application testing for PPG technologies, including powder coatings, fire protection coatings, dielectric coatings, adhesives and sealants, surface pre-treatment, and e-coat technologies. Its modular design will allow for independent projects to be carried out concurrently in each of the application areas. This flexibility will enable development of material and process solutions across the range of current and potential customers.
Detailing further on BPAC, Thomas Li, PPG Vice President, Asia Pacific, Automotive Coatings, PPG, said, “The application center showcases PPG’s work in R&D and application technologies for EV batteries, while playing a significant role in developing our local talent in Tianjin. It highlights the focus on our work to develop sustainable, cutting-edge technologies in China, and provide our customers with value-added solutions.”
A recent development in India
Recently, MG Motor India, a British automobile brand with a 99-year-old legacy, has joined forces with LOHUM, India’s largest producer of sustainable energy transition materials, to establish a comprehensive ecosystem for the reuse, and life cycle management of EV batteries. MG India and LOHUM partnership aims to develop the concept of second-life solutions for batteries, ensuring their efficient utilization and contributing to the circular economy. The project will harness the potential of used batteries by repurposing them as Battery Energy Storage Products (BESS), effectively extending their life cycle and optimizing resource usage.
Under the collaboration, LOHUM will reuse end-of-first-life batteries of MG electric vehicles to build sustainable 2nd-life Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for a wide variety of clean energy applications in India’s urban and rural landscape. LOHUM’s proprietary repurposing technology will be used to maximize the potential of cells before recycling, utilizing healthy cells high on Remaining Useful Life (RUL) to build sustainable 2nd-life BESS for a wide variety of clean energy applications.
Commenting on the partnership, Rajeev Chaba, CEO Emeritus, MG Motor India, said, “At MG, we have always believed in fostering innovation and sustainability. Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) hold immense potential to revolutionize India’s energy landscape, with their versatile applications, affordability, and undeniable support for local communities. Through this India can unlock a future where clean, reliable, and low-cost energy storage becomes a reality, empowering communities, households, and entire rural areas alike while driving sustainable development and energy independence for the nation.
Our collaboration with LOHUM allows us to take a significant move forward in our commitment to sustainable mobility. By repurposing used batteries of our EV models, we not only extend their life cycle but also enable the delivery of power to essential community centres. The clear need of the hour is a safe, viable and enduring supply of clean energy, and this strategic partnership is a step towards the same.”
By P. K. Chatterjee (PK)