Canadian battery maker Electrovaya said it has won a further lithium-ion ceramic forklift battery purchase order worth CAD214,000 ($167,000) from a leading company.
The order is the second from a purchaser who is one of five US Fortune 500 companies to have already issued orders for the drop-in replacement batteries, Electrovaya said.
German battery manufacturer Akasol has launched production of its high-performance lithium-ion systems for commercial vehicles at its new EUR10 million ($11.7m) plant in Langen, near Frankfurt.
Akasol started production on 16 November at the 600MWh capacity facility. The company said it has already secured contracts to supply its battery systems for 10,000 buses being built by two European bus manufacturers in the next few years.
German automotive supplier Continental is reportedly mulling investments in solid-state battery production in a bid to compete with electric vehicle battery manufacturers in the US and Asia.
CEO Elmar Degenhart (pictured) was quoted as telling German trade publication Automobilwoche: “We could well imagine getting into the production of innovative batteries. That also goes for producing battery cells.”
The CEO of India’s Amara Raja Batteries said the firm is braced for further hikes in the price of lead into 2018— but that it has “mitigated” the impact through existing contracts.
S Vijayanad said while LME prices had seen “close to 25% growth” over the past year, the industrial and automotive battery maker expects to see lead prices “in the range of $2,400 to $2,500 per metric ton” by next spring.
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.
There’s a lot of interesting science around in terms of working out what happens when you short circuit a lithium-ion battery on a very expensive high energy X-ray source (the images are fantastic) but how that helps you, the manufacturer, prevent whatever that “natural” causative agent might be for this to happen seems about as likely as predicting the next self-styled lunatic with enough money (and guns) to carry out a massacre in the USA.
It can’t be done.
As the Donald said: “This is not a guns issue.” And as to battery fires and failures, perhaps they are not a lithium-ion issue. If we didn’t have so many portable devices and electric vehicles, this would not be an issue at all… Of course, you’d have to plug your not-so-smart phone into a wall socket each time you wanted to check your mail and we’d all be connected ‘wiredly’ to do so much that we now take for granted. Or fire granted?
And this brings me to my final topic for this excuse for conference spleen venting… battery stand-up comedy!
It’s a new comedy form that is being developed by Joseph Nowikowski, almost the last act on the two-day event. Nowikowski, a fire investigator, managed to achieve laughs from fire scenes— before and after. Radio-controlled cars bursting into flames, caught on camera (security) in ‘man caves' all over the Union, dog teeth marks on a punctured battery found under a burned out sofa (we kid you not), not to mention the litany of stories of exploding vaping devices (missing teeth thrown in for more good measure) and laptops left charging on beds. All down to lithium-ion.
Nowikowski was right on the money. Sure, the insurance companies will pay out on the fire because they allow for peoples’ stupidity… but if they can show a defective battery was to blame, they’ll be after you. Another investigator in the audience said they had 120 open files on fires, with lithium batteries ‘in the firing line’, so to speak.
Nowikowski didn’t quite say, “if you can charge it, don’t leave it unattended”, but if I had felt like misrepresenting him, I could have sold that story to the so-called British newspaper, The Sun.
Joe public has no idea about the number of fake phone chargers there are in circulation, nor can they tell if a product has a BMS capable of detecting overcharge or thermal runaway in its earliest phase. They have no knowledge of UL and Interek’s safety standards and they like to buy cheap and nasty electronic products (‘cos they’re cheap!).
One day, the catalogue of errors that are ‘crap cells’ with flammable electrolytes will turn into the perfect storm and somewhere, perhaps, a lot of people will die, just like they did in London (thanks to flammable building materials) this summer. For other chemistries, it’s the equivalent of Weinstein’s alleged sex misdemeanours.
Isn’t it time you guys named and shamed?
Chinese lithium-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) is to open a production base in Europe, according to state media.
China’s Xinhua News Agency said CATL is “planning to build a new plant in Europe to meet the rising demand of the continent” for electric vehicle batteries.
The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation into the EU’s Batteries Directive, as part of a fundamental review of laws governing batteries in Europe.
Current legislation, which came into force in 2006, is based on data and the market situation that existed around the turn of the millennium— before lithium-ion technology had fully come into widespread use.