I've got a bunch of 'snippets' for you today from all around the Battery Universe (or... Battery Planet? The judge is still out on this one.)
Here's a neat graph I found on the top battery makers' current and planned capacities through 2025, with data by BloombergNEF (link):
As you can see, CATL is dominant in the projected battery race with a total of 230 GWh of capacity installed by 2025, although it is a tight race in 2021. To put wheels to these numbers, the annual capacity of 230 GWh could power about 4.6 million electric cars per year.
And here's the same thing on the country level:
Although we have big battery manufacturers like CATL and LG Chem building their battery factories in the US and Europe, the main capacity, as seen above, will most likely be held by China for the time being.
Of course, it is expected new announcements are coming out every-now-and-then about added capacities. Another piece of the puzzle for producing new EV batteries is gaining momentum, which is:
♻️ Battery Recycling
♻ Redwood Materials is tripling its size of operations in Nevada with "hundreds of millions" in investment. Currently, it can recover enough material for 45k EV battery packs (3 GWh) per year. The company has Envision AESC and Panasonic's Nevada plant as partners to recycle manufacturing scrap and batteries. (link) Note the connection: J.B Straubel, the founder of Redwood Materials, is a former co-founder and CTO of Tesla.
Here's a video from last year when Ashlee Vance took the trip up to the Redwood Materials compound in Nevada (video).
♻ Fortum builds a new battery materials recycling plant in Harjavalta, Finland. €24M in and operations start in 2023. (link)
🏗️ Battery plants
- Northvolt AB and Volvo Car Group will build a battery factory with a 50 GWh capacity, enough to supply ~500k EVs, starting production in 2026. The companies will also establish a joint research-and-dev center operational next year. (link)
- General Motors will be launching two new battery plants under its JV with LG Chem called Ultium Cells LLC. It will also supply batteries for the world's first battery locomotive from Wabtec Corporation. (link)
- Dräxlmaier, the German automotive supplier, will invest €200M ($238M) to build a battery plant in Timisoara, Romania (link).
- The UK government is in talks with six companies to build gigawatt-scale battery factories for electric cars: Ford, LG, Samsung, Nissan, InoBat, and Britishvolt. (link)
- Porsche invests "a high double-digit million euro sum" in a joint venture company Cellforce (with an 83.75% share) with Customcells. German state will also contribute ~€60M ($71M). The JV is to produce the high-performance battery cells for Porsche from 2024. (link)
- Foxconn is building out its own little electrification Universe again, this time by investing $36M into Giga Solar Materials. The companies will jointly develop EV battery materials (link).
- Volkswagen is looking for battery material suppliers to avoid production bottlenecks (link).
- Ample and ENEOS partner up to launch the EV battery swapping service in Japan. By early 2022, several passenger and last-mile delivery service companies are to join (link). Here's Ample's pitch:
- EVENT: International Automobile Recycling Congress IARC 2021, June 23-25th both virtually and on-site in Geneva (link)
- The UK announced the £20M zero-emission vehicle competition winners (link), among which I surprisingly found a joint project of Rimac Automobili (yes, the hypercar maker) and Breathe Battery Technologies with their PHI X2: Software solution for healthy EV battery management. The project was awarded £210,565 ($292k) (link).
- CATL debunks the claims that the company was forcing its employees to purchase “defective” Tesla vehicles at a discount (link)
- Researchers claim they have succeeded in preventing the formation of dendrites in lithium metal batteries, thereby at least doubling the service life of such batteries. (link)
Battery quote of the week:
The DOE's Kelly Speakes-Backman said on the $200M in funding over five years for the national labs tackling EV, battery, and connected vehicle projects (link):
“We’re focusing on the entire battery supply chain from soup to nuts – from sustainable mining and processing to manufacturing and recycling – which will translate to thousands of new jobs across the country and put more clean-running electric vehicles on the road. We want to establish global leadership at every level of the supply chain.”
📺 What I'm watching
- The Story of Cobalt and its importance to batteries & EVs by Fully Charged:
- This interactive chart from ITIF illustrates the funding pathways for RD&D at the US Department of Energy and the previous federal budget for energy innovation (click 'vehicles' on the right column) (link)
📚 What I'm reading
- Battery Manufacturing Basics from CATL’s Cell Production, collected from public sources, put together by our friends at BatteryBits (link). The first part features the electrode manufacturing stage (GIFs included!)
- Back of the Battery (BotB) Calculator - an ongoing tutorial/story on building up intuition on what design parameters affect the performance and cost of a battery. This is by our friends in Intercalation Station, give it a look, especially if you're a bit 'nerdier' on batteries than I am (link).
🤔 A battery joke:
What battery makes the best dessert?*
(the answer is at the end of the newsletter)
This letter went out to 1,198 subscribers.
You can ☕ buy me a coffee to add zap to my writing to keep me going. ⚡,
Answer to the puzzle:
* Lithi - yums.