Panasonic has developed a lead-acid battery for charge control and idle reduction vehicles.
According to US patent number 14/359464, filed on January 23 2013, published on November 6, the battery is designed to have a high charge acceptance, which makes it suitable for vehicles with little charging opportunity.
India's Amara Raja Batteries (Amara) is to expand into the solar and motive power markets and plans to open a second manufacturing plant in Chitoor, India.
Amara aims to target the solar storage market with its lead-acid batteries. Its motive power batteries are aimed to be supplied to a wide variety of electric powered transportation systems, including the railway market.
Automotive battery makers have urged China to issue battery recycling standards and clamp down on illegal vendors, the South China Morning Post reported.
Most used car batteries on China’s mainland are collected by small, unlicensed vendors who hazardously dispose the battery after selling the lead to other suppliers, according to Kenneth Yeng, vice-president and general manager of Johnson Control.
American automotive battery supplier Johnson Controls has opened a new battery manufacturing plant in Chongqing City, China.
The facility is expected to produce six million automotive batteries per year. Johnson Controls invested $154m in the plant with a size of 133,000m². "This facility will not only enable us to meet increasing demand from our customers in China, but will also allow us to demonstrate our global leadership in technology and sustainability”, said Kenneth Yeng, vice president and general manager of Johnson Control Power Solutions in China. The manufacturer will supply China’s rapidly growing demands with its battery technology and services.
Japanese battery manufacturer Furukawa Battery and automotive distributor Indomobil Sukses Internasional have struck a deal to set up two joint ventures in Indonesia as part of their expansion plans for the country.
The first joint venture, Furukawa Indomobil Battery Manufacturing, will manufacture batteries at a 6.6 hectare factory in Purwakarta, West Java.
Furukawa Battery controls 51% of the manufacturing joint venture and Furukawa Indombil Battery Sales 49%.
A second joint venture, Furukawa Indomobil Battery Sales, will be responsible for sale of the products.
The total investment for both joint ventures is US$20m, Andreas Dhanu Sugih, president director at Furukawa Indomobil Battery Sales, reportedly said, adding that that US$19m will be used to finance the manufacturing plant and the remaining funding will go towards marketing the products.
Sugih concluded: “We want to focus first on the domestic market. However, if there is a chance for export, then we are prepared to look at the possibilities.”
Shinichiro Ota, director at Furukawa Indomobil Battery Manufacturing, said construction of the factory had begun in February and production could begin as soon as the first quarter, 2015.
“Indonesia is an attractive market full of potential with a large population,” said Shunji Ishizaki, president at Furukawa Indomobil Battery Manufacturing.
Furukawa and Indomobil declined to disclose the factory’s production capacity and revenue target from the joint venture.
Ishizaki said that Indomobil, which already uses GS Astra and GS Yuasa car batteries in their manufactured vehicles, would start using the FB Battery for its Japanese-branded vehicles, such as Nissan, Suzuki, and Hino.
There would be a significant impact on the overall performance and cost of vehicles if established battery applications were to be replaced with alternative technologies, according to a new study published by European automotive and battery industry trade groups, including EUROBAT.
The study concludes that lead-based batteries will by necessity remain the most wide-spread energy storage system in automotive applications for the foreseeable future. Their low cost and unparalleled ability to start the engine at cold temperatures sets them apart in conventional and basic micro-hybrid vehicles, and as auxiliary batteries in all other automotive applications. With regard to overall storage capability and potential for further fuel efficiency improvements, the demand for larger battery systems based on lithium, nickel and sodium will continue to grow through the increased market penetration of vehicles with higher levels of hybridisation and electrification.
In any automotive application, regulatory decisions to phase out established battery technologies would impact negatively on overall vehicle performance and cost. The study reaches this conclusion through a detailed analysis of the technical requirements placed on the battery in three different classes of conventional, hybrid and electric vehicles. It also finds that substitution has an effect on targets for fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.
Commenting on the findings, EUROBAT's chairman, Johann-Friedrich Dempwolff, said: "Currently all battery technologies have specific performance profiles that serve a well-defined purpose in automotive applications and continue to have an irreplaceable role in reducing CO2 emissions from transport".
"In particular, this report demonstrates the necessity of maintaining the exemption for lead-based batteries within the EU End of Life Vehicle Directive's wider ban on lead in light-duty vehicles. The EU's legislative and regulatory framework should guarantee a fair and technology-neutral competition between battery technologies."
The study, A Review of Battery Technologies for Automotive Applications, also makes clear that a transition towards other battery types would have significant ramifications for development times and would be expensive to implement effectively. In order to optimise fuel efficiency improvements in each vehicle type, automobile manufacturers need the flexibility to choose the most appropriate batteries from a technical and economic perspective, the report argues.
In a related development, EUROBAT's Executive Director Alfons Westgeest underlined the importance of battery energy storage in residential and commercial grid systems to grow renewable energy in a keynote address to 400 participants at the recent E+Storage Workshop in Italy.
Luigi Mazzocchi, of RSE SpA, and chairman of the session supported this sentiment with the assurance that: "No doubt, electricity storage is necessary. Its importance will gradually increase in the forthcoming years, as stochastic renewable energy production will occupy an increasing share of power production." He concluded with: "Battery storage technology will become an essential player of the electrical system within some years. The Italian industry can play an important role."
Johnson Controls has signed a new long-term automotive battery supply agreement with SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, a further indication of Johnson Controls' bid to expand rapidly in China.
US car marker Tesla’s plans to build a $5bn battery ‘Gigafactory’ have advanced with Panasonic signing a letter of intent to join the project.
The market for batteries for hybrids and plug-in vehicles is growing fast, more than tripling over the past three years to reach 1.4GWh per quarter, according to a new report from Lux Research.
Led by US demand, batteries for plug-ins and hybrids were a $660m market in the first quarter of 2014.