New lithium-ion battery material for faster charging times – pv magazine International

Elsewhere, Volkswagen’s electric vehicles are sold out in Europe and the United States. for 2022, Porsche is investing in a silicon anode specialist, and Tesla is reportedly looking to expand its Berlin Gigafactory.

The anode is one of the biggest bottlenecks to charging lithium-ion batteries today. The most common anode is graphite, which is very energy dense, but cannot be charged too quickly due to the risk of fire and explosion from a process known as lithium metal plating. Amid growing demand for high-energy batteries with faster charge times, researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Boise State University have developed a novel approach to making new materials for lithium-ion batteries. They turned a non-crystalline (amorphous) material into a crystalline Nb2O5 anode material with exceptional battery properties – by cycling it with lithium. Intercalating metal oxides, such as rock salt Nb2O5 material discovered by the team, are promising anode alternatives due to the reduced risk of low voltage lithium plating. “If you want to charge your electric vehicle for 15 minutes and then hit the road for the next 200 or 300 kilometers, you need new battery electrodes that can be charged at a very fast rate without much loss in performance,” says Pete Barnes, lead author of the study published in Natural materials. The new electrode can achieve a high lithium storage of 269 mAh/g at a charge rate of 20 mA/g and, more importantly, continues to maintain a high capacity of 191 mAh/g at a high charge rate of 1 A/g. “The trick is to start from a higher energy phase, like an amorphous material. Simply recycling the material with lithium allows us to create new crystal arrangements that exhibit enhanced properties beyond those achieved by traditional means such as solid-state reactions,” says Hui (Claire) Xiong. , professor of materials science and engineering at Boise State University.

Speaking of next-gen battery materials, a US-based start-up If the, is building a large-scale plant in Washington state to make advanced anodes that use silicon instead of graphite, which the company says will make EV batteries more energy efficient and ultimately cheaper. The company, co-founded by one of Tesla’s early engineers and backed by Mercedes-Benz, is making an initial investment to provide annual production of silicon-based anodes sufficient to power 10 GWh of cells when used as replacements full of graphite, or up to 50 GWh. of cells when used as a partial replacement. That’s enough material to power the batteries of 100,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles and 500 million mobile phones a year. The facility’s production lines will start in the second half of 2024, with full production start-up underway in the first half of 2025. The facility’s electricity will be zero-carbon, supplied by the Washington hydroelectric grid. The company said Forbes that Daimler and BMW will be the first users of its materials in high-end electric models. “First and foremost, we’re looking for higher energy density,” said CEO Gene Berdichevsky, estimating that Sila’s anodes offer up to 20% improvement in energy efficiency over the best lithium batteries. -ion ​​current. They can also provide faster charging or reduce pack costs by reducing the number of cells needed to travel the same distance. “If you have a vehicle that contains 1,000 cells and it gives you the range you want when each battery stores 20% more energy, you can go from 1,000 to 800 cells. Now the vehicle is lighter and cheaper to manufacture.

Meanwhile, the German sports car manufacturer Porsche acquires shares in the American company Group14 Technologies, a producer of advanced silicon-carbon technology for lithium-ion batteries. As lead investor, Porsche is raising $100 million and leading a Series C funding round in which multiple companies are investing a total of $400 million, which Group14 Technologies plans to use to accelerate its global production of the building material. silicon anode for lithium-ion batteries. According to Porsche, Group14 will also supply the Cellforce group from Tübingen, in which Porsche has a majority stake. Cellforce is currently building its battery plant near Stuttgart, with production expected to start in 2024. The company intends to produce 100 MWh of high-performance battery cells there per year, primarily for Porsche models with high-speed transmissions. performance. “Group14’s anode material has the potential to be a game-changer by reducing charging times,” says Markus Gräf, Cellforce Group Managing Director. With the new silicon anode, Cellforce aims to ensure high energy density and lower internal resistance. This allows it to absorb more when recovering energy while providing improved performance for fast charging. Another special feature of the Cellforce battery cell is the fact that it is supposed to be more resistant to high temperatures, the company says.

Like many other electric vehicle manufacturers, based in the United States Lucid announced price hikes due to supply chain issues. The electric vehicle maker reported nearly $58 million in first-quarter revenue and announced substantial price increases for its Air luxury sedan for all new bookings starting June 1. , representing potential sales of $2.9 billion. “Like many companies in our industry, we continue to face global supply chain and logistics challenges, including Covid-related factory closures in China. We are working closely with our suppliers to mitigate the impact of disruptions,” Lucid Chief Financial Officer Sherry House said in a statement. “While any extended disruption may impact our production guidance, today we are reiterating our production guidance of 12 000 to 14,000 vehicles for 2022 based on the information we have at this point, combined with our mitigation plans.” The Air Grand Touring will increase by approximately $15,000 at a cost of $154,000; the Air Touring will cost $12,400 more to $107,400, and the Air Pure will increase by $10,000, to $87,400 The Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance model, which was priced two weeks ago, will remain the same at $179,000, a in said the company.

As persistent supply bottlenecks continue to be felt, volkswagen is “essentially sold out” of electric vehicles for this year in Europe and the United States, according to group CEO Herbert Diess. In the first quarter, Germany’s largest automaker delivered more than 99,000 BEVs and demand is accelerating, with more than 30,000 vehicle orders placed in Western Europe alone. VW is targeting a total of around 700,000 electric vehicle sales for 2022. “We have very high order books and[…]electric vehicle orders,” added Diess. “It represents all of our models from ID.3, ID.4, Audi models – [all] are extremely well received in the markets, Škoda models are also very well received in Europe. In China, however, due to Covid-related restrictions, demand for electric vehicles has been weakened. But VW remains confident that its goal of 140,000 electric vehicles this year is achievable. Still, the automaker warned of “an ongoing risk” that war and lockdowns in China could “negatively impact current year business activities.”

Meanwhile, in Germany, You’re here would seek to massively expand its manufacturing capacity near Berlin. According to local media in RBB (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg), the electric vehicle manufacturer wants to buy around 100 hectares of land adjacent to the current site which extends over 300 hectares. Although there is plenty of open space on its existing land, local media suggest Tesla wants to keep the land clear for future expansions at the auto plant. The additional area is likely to be used for storage facilities. As with the initial land purchase, there are still many hurdles to overcome, both legislative and environmental. In terms of the possible purchase price, RBB says Tesla will have to pay around 13 million euros for the additional area if state authorities demand the same price as for the original 300 hectares.

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