If you need to know about batteries; you’ve come to the right place Chinese flag 点击这里访问我们的中文网站 Chinese flag

Editor's Blog

John Shepherd

More cash to keep 'lithium dream' afloat as lead is left to tread water

15/10/2018

It’s been a year this week since the EU launched its Batteries Alliance to challenge Asia’s dominance of the European lithium battery market. But after months of talking and little concrete action— other than conspiring to kill off lead-acid— the EU’s energy chief now wants to splash more taxpayers’ cash to 'make' things happen. Nothing of course to do with his bid to take over as European Commission president.

Meanwhile, as reported in the latest edition of BEST Battery Briefing (BBB), it’s encouraging to see the wind at the backs of ABC in their deal with Fengfan. Breaking into the Chinese market is a challenge for any industry, let alone batteries. What’s more, the deal involves advanced lead technology. Take note, Brussels!

If you're not already a BBB subscriber, you should be if you want the full story on batteries. Each edition of this weekly e-newsletter is supercharged with 'real news', insight and solid journalism. Sign up FREE here.

And make sure you've also subscribed to Batteries & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) magazine— the autumn issue is out now and includes an in-depth and compelling special feature section on the issues and challenges involved in battery recycling. Don't miss it. Click here to subscribe now.

Mars is a great market for pure EVs

All power to Elon Musk and SpaceX. What an incredible achievement to build the world’s most powerful rocket, make much of it reusable and have a sufficient sense of humour to put one of your other company’s product— a tesla electric car, atop of it all and send it toward Mars! Tesla is losing a fortune, so what the hell?

A flaming embarrassment

Looking for ways to make lithium-ion batteries safer? Well, don’t go to a battery safety conference, because you won’t learn much! At least I didn’t when I went to Cambridge EnerTech’s battery safety event last week in Arlington.

Don’t die… just get bought!

Now is a great time to sell your battery manufacturing business— to an oil company.
The age of oil isn’t over yet but those in fossil fuels know it’s coming, so now is the time to diversify.

Futile rear guard action?

The defending army is on the run. In a desperate attempt to help the troops escape, a rear guard is assembled, hoping beyond hope to delay the rapidly advancing attacking troops. They will run out of ammunition of course, or be overwhelmed.

Auto electric confusion?

It was a confusing week in Mainz. The only thing you could be sure about was that electrification of vehicles was not going away, but perhaps we’ve known that for some time. The thing we’re not sure about is;

No-fly lithium looks very possible

There are few inside the battery industry who haven’t seen a video of a lithium-ion cell going into thermal runaway, shooting out flames and gas like some kind of giant firework.
There are enough battery specialists who can appreciate and calculate the release of energy from such devices and have the imagination to visualise the domino effect that could take place when one defective cell goes wrong in pallet containing maybe several thousand cells.

Poor emissions lead to sales revisions

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, but the ill wind that’s been blowing through Volkswagen these past few weeks may deliver a positive benefit to the battery industry if its industry Guru, Menachem Anderman, is to be believed.

Storage doomsayers unite

This writer tries to avoid TV news these days; From the refugee torrent out of Africa into Europe, the tit-for-tat terrorist bombings in the Middle east, it’s just too awful to contemplate. Batteries, (when not arming bombs and missiles) are relatively innocuous things and when involved in the firming of renewables, they do good. But last week, at the Electricity Storage Association’s technical meeting, the industry was told it is not doing anywhere near enough.

What matters: FIFA or ESA….the ball is in your court.

So ESA’s annual event is over for another year. It’s no longer an event for battery scientists or even battery vendors but it looks like an excellent networking event for everyone else. As a conference with formal presentations, forget it.

Musk has set the pot boiling

It’s funny how us lesser beings can pursue a technical topic till we’re blue in the face and no one seems to take any notice. Electrical Energy Storage is just one such topic.

Pages