EV Battery Technology: The Road To A Breakthrough

Battery technology is the new bull’s-eye for companies striving to meet the world’s growing appetite for electric vehicles.




X



What are the major EV battery technologies right now, and what innovations loom on the horizon?

Lithium-ion and lithium-iron phosphate (or LFP) dominate the current EV battery landscape. They have pros and cons in terms of range, raw material prices and more. Tesla (TSLA) uses both lithium-ion and LFP batteries. Emerging archrival BYD (BYDDF) uses a specialized LFP battery.

Battery companies and automakers are investing heavily to build cheaper, denser and lighter batteries. New technologies run the gamut. Some give old battery chemistries a new twist for incremental improvements. Others change the battery form factor or battery assembly for significant gains in performance or costs. In the future, radically different chemistries and other big breakthroughs are expected to emerge.

For its next-gen Ultium batteries, General Motors (GM) tweaked the lithium-ion chemistry to cut costs sharply. Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell claims cost savings and other benefits via a larger size and state-of-the-art engineering. China’s CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, touts even bigger improvements for its new Kirin battery, in part due to how cells are combined into packs.

The most far-reaching battery innovations could come from a variety of players. CATL is working on sodium-ion batteries, while QuantumScape (QS), SES (SES), SolidPower (SLDP) and Toyota Motor (TM) are developing solid-state batteries. Both battery types are potential game changers but face technical hurdles.

“Batteries are the new gold rush as far as automakers are concerned,” said Ram Chandrasekaran, a mobility analyst at Wood Mackenzie who formerly worked for Ford.

Better, more powerful batteries will drive the adoption of electric cars. Entire car platforms are being built around the battery, which not only supplies power but also serves as a critical structural element in EVs today, Chandrasekaran says.

Battery Technology Race

To be sure, the battery technology race isn’t just about electric cars. Batteries power everything from smartphones and laptops to power drills. The utility sector itself is a growing source of battery demand.

But there’s a reason why car companies shot to the lead in this race: EVs make up 80% of lithium-ion battery demand, according to Wood Mackenzie, an energy research and consultancy firm.

Already in 2021, lithium-ion battery supply fell short of demand in a brisk EV market, WoodMac says. The prices of battery raw materials also jumped. That has only intensified in 2022.

Asia, led by China, commanded 90% of the world’s battery manufacturing in 2021. By the end of this decade, Wood Mackenzie expects that share to fall below 70% as the West catches up.

Across the U.S. and Europe, dozens of battery plants will spring up by decade’s end amid fears of lithium shortages. Companies seek both to reduce geopolitical risk and to reduce transportation costs, since heavy EV batteries are costly to ship.

On May 2, the U.S. Department of

Read More... Read More

World’s smallest battery can ability a laptop the sizing of a grain of dust

The world’s smallest battery is lesser than a grain of salt and can be created in massive portions on a wafer surface. Credit rating: TU Chemnitz/Leibniz IFW Dresden

Personal computers are getting smaller sized and smaller, just as present cell telephones present computing energy equivalent to that of a notebook. And the pattern towards miniaturization continues. Clever dust purposes (very small microelectronic equipment), these as biocompatible sensor units in the body, demand desktops and batteries scaled-down than a dust mote. So significantly, this improvement has been hindered by two key things: deficiency of on-chip power resources for operation anytime and anywhere and challenges in manufacturing integrable microbatteries.

In the present concern of Sophisticated Power Components, Prof. Dr. Oliver G. Schmidt, head of the Professorship for Content Techniques of Nanoelectronics and Scientific Director of the Middle for Materials, Architectures and Integration of Nanomembranes (Primary) at Chemnitz University of Know-how, Dr. Minshen Zhu, who has been operating in Prof. Schmidt’s group at the Exploration Centre Key since February 2022, and researchers from Leibniz Institute for Good Point out and Elements Investigate (IFW) Dresden and Changchun Institute of Used Chemistry current a option to these issues. They go over how battery-run clever dust apps can be realized in the sub-millimeter-scale and current the world’s smallest battery by much as an software-oriented prototype.

“Our effects display encouraging strength storage efficiency at the sub-square-millimeter scale,” states Dr. Minshen Zhu, and Prof. Oliver Schmidt provides: “There is nevertheless a enormous optimization probable for this technology, and we can hope a great deal more robust microbatteries in the future.”

Past the restrictions of miniaturization

The energy to operate tiny sub-millimeter-scale computer systems can be offered by developing suitable batteries or “harvesting” approaches to deliver electric power.

In the region of “harvesting,” micro-thermoelectric generators, for illustration, change heat to electrical power, but their output electric power is way too minimal to travel dust-sized chips. Mechanical vibrations are one more supply of energy for powering very small-scale units. Modest photovoltaic cells that convert light into electrical power on small chips are also promising.

Nevertheless, mild and vibrations are not readily available at all situations and in all destinations, earning on demand procedure difficult in numerous environments. This is also the scenario, for example, in the human body, wherever tiny sensors and actuators call for a continuous energy provide. Highly effective little batteries would fix this issue.

Nonetheless, the manufacturing of very small batteries is quite distinct from their every day counterparts. For case in point, compact batteries with significant electrical power density, button cells for instance, are made employing soaked chemistry. Electrode materials and additives (carbon materials and binders) are processed into a slurry and coated onto a metal foil. On-chip microbatteries generated using these common systems can deliver great power and electricity density but have a footprint of noticeably far more than a single sq. millimeter.

Shrinking Tesla technological know-how: Swiss-roll approach allows on-chip batteries for dust-sized desktops

Stacked slim films, electrode pillars or interdigitated microelectrodes are

Read More... Read More