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100% green credentials sways BMW Group to sign $2B supply deal with Northvolt

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 11:28 -- paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM BMW Group has signed a long-term supply contract worth €2 billion ($2.3 billion) to secure lithium-ion battery cells from the Swedish company Northvolt. 

The battery cells will be produced at Northvolt’s planned gigafactory in Skellefteå in northern Sweden (series plant Northvolt Ett) when the plant is completed from 2024.

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German researchers to develop realistic test procedures to make safer lithium-ion batteries

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 11:58 -- paul Crompton

German public research university The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is working to develop standards that provide more security and flexibility when designing lithium-ion batteries.

In its research project, KIT will work alongside testing and standardisation institutes as well as industry partners to develop safety tests for lithium-ion cells under real conditions. 

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Audi to cooperate with German utility to build grid-scale ESS using used lithium-ion battery packs

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 10:57 -- paul Crompton

A project to repurpose used electric vehicle battery packs into energy storage systems is being developed by German vehicle OEM Audi and utility EnBW.

The project will focus on using second-life EV batteries from Audi with EnBW working on developing a stationary facility that stores power from its wind and photovoltaic parks.

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German lithium-ion battery market grows in 2019 while lead battery sales slump

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 10:53 -- paul Crompton

Germany’s secondary lead battery production fell for the second year in a row, according to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI).

As well as lead battery manufacturing falling 3% year-on-year to €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) last year, imports also slumped to a three-year low as the market slipped 8% to €940 million ($1 billion), reported the association.

This was despite Germany’s overall battery market rising to €4.2 billion ($4.7 billion), of which lithium-ion had a market share of €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion), an eightfold increase since 2013.

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German lead battery maker Moll opens talks with investors following insolvency proceedings

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 09:59 -- paul Crompton

German lead battery manufacturer, Akkumulatorenfabrik Moll has entered exploratory discussions with potential investors after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a fall in sales that led to the 75-year-old firm opening insolvency proceedings.

“Sensitive discussions” with potential investors are taking place with the goal of finding a rapid resolution in the interests of all parties involved, said the company on 18 June.

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The VW Group increases stake in US solid-state battery start-up QuantumScape to $300M

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 11:31 -- paul Crompton

The Volkswagen Group is increasing its stake in US solid-state battery start-up QuantumScape by up to $200 million as the German OEM looks to future of electric vehicle drivetrains.

The companies formed a joint venture in 2018 to work together on solid-state batteries with Volkswagen investing $100 million at the time to enable industrial-level production of the technology.

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Saudi and German firms sign JV to build one of world’s biggest VRFB facilities

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 10:16 -- paul Crompton

Saudi Arabian owned Nusaned Investment and German firm Schmid Group have formed a joint venture to establish a 3GWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturing facility in the Western Asia kingdom.

The joint venture (JV) between Nusaned Investment (investment firm owned by petrochemical company Sabic) and VRFB company Schmid will focus on manufacturing and developing VRFB systems. 

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Battery smelter stops lead production as COVID-19 and mild winter strikes markets

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 09:55 -- paul Crompton

German firm Weser-Metall stopped production at its primary lead smelter until further notice as demand from battery makers slumped amid temporarily halts in operations at global car plants.  

The decision by the Recylex-owned firm on 26 March was made to allow the firm to “adapt to the sharp drop in demand, particularly in the automotive industry, and in a context of sharp drop in metal prices”.

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German lead battery maker Moll blames sales drop caused by coronavirus for insolvency after 75 years

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 16:05 -- paul Crompton

German lead-acid battery maker Moll Batterien has opened insolvency proceedings after 75 years of operation due to the “sudden, massive, and permanent” decline in sales caused by the corona crisis.

The 75-year-old company applied to the Coburg District Court for the opening of insolvency proceedings on Monday, 30 March. The company made EFB, AGM and VRLA starter batteries for automotive applications, and had recently launched a 12.8V lithium iron phosphate battery.

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VW follows Tesla with move to 811 lithium-ion cells in hunt for higher driving range

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:17 -- paul Crompton

German vehicle OEM Volkswagen is moving to a NMC 811 cell format in its electric vehicle battery packs with the “medium to long term” goal of one day producing cobalt free cells.

The company is following Tesla’s lead in moving to the NMC 811 cell format, which VW’s China battery supplier CATL believes gives better performance capabilities over its previous NCM 523 cells. 

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