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OEM

GM honours ex-director with facility to develop next-generation batteries

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 15:14 -- paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM General Motors has revealed plans to accelerate electric vehicle battery technology with a facility dedicated to developing and commercialising better and cheaper next-generation batteries.

New battery technologies like lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries will be developed, along with advanced production methods, at the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center.

The Wallace Center, on the campus of GM’s Global Technical Center (GTC) in Michigan, US, is due to be completed mid-next year.

The first prototype cells are due in the fourth quarter of 2022, with the centre capable of building large-format, lithium-metal battery cells as large as 1,000mm with energy density from 600 to 1200Wh/l.

The Wallace Center will include cell test chambers, cell formation chambers, a material synthesis laboratory— where GM can design its own cathode active materials— a slurry mixing and processing laboratory, a coating room, electrolyte production laboratory, and a forensics laboratory with material analysis equipment and advanced software.

Technology developed at the centre will eventually be be deployed at battery cell manufacturing plants, including GM's joint ventures with LG Energy Solution in Ohio and Tennessee, and other “undisclosed locations” in the US.

The facility will connect GM's network of battery development sites located on its GTC campus, which include GM's Research and Development Chemical and Materials' Subsystems Lab that leads the company's work on lithium-metal anodes.

It will also be connected to the Estes Battery Systems Lab that performs major battery durability tests in-house at the cell, module and pack levels.

Honouring a legacy

The facility is named after Bill Wallace, a GM director who played a pivotal role in the development of its advanced battery technology as director of Battery Systems and Electrification.

Wallace led the team that designed and released GM’s advanced automotive battery systems in the Chevrolet Volt 1, Volt 2, Malibu Hybrid and Bolt EV.

Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said: “In addition to being a good friend, Bill was an innovator who enabled other innovators.

“He gave his team confidence to take risks and reach far beyond their wildest dreams in pursuit of our all-electric, zero-emissions future.”

Wallace also pioneered GM’s relationship with LG Chem R&D (now LG Energy Solution), culminating in the Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing joint venture plants now under construction.

Despite fighting terminal cancer, Wallace passionately continued to lead and inspire his team and worked until his death in 2018.

Image: Architectural rendering of the completed first phase of GM’s Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center.

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JAC Motors partners with CBAK to design lithium-ion batteries for China’s EV market

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:55 -- paul Crompton

China-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer CBAK Energy Technology has signed a three-year strategic agreement with state-owned vehicle OEM Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors).

The strategic agreement will combine the former's battery knowledge in the research, development, and manufacturing of battery cells with the latter's technology capabilities in the electric vehicle industry. 

 

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VW Group signs $1.4B battery deal with Wanxinag Group to ensure security of supply in China

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 08:29 -- paul Crompton

China battery maker Wanxinag Group has secured a $1.4 billion deal to supply German vehicle OEM Volkswagen Group (VW) with lithium-ion batteries.

The deal, through the China firm’s subsidary Wanxiang A123 (Wanxiang bought battery maker A123 in 2012), gives VW a second China lithium-ion cell supplier alongside Contempoary Aperex Technology (CATL). 

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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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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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Hyundai signs MoU to use second-life EV lithium-ion batteries in ESSs

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 12:35 -- paul Crompton

South Korea's vehicle OEM Hyundai Motor Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PV manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells to recycle old EV batteries into second-life energy storage applications.

The partnership will develop energy storage systems (ESS) using old EV batteries for the European and North American markets.

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Samsung in talks with Hyundai to supply its lithium-ion pouch cells for EV applications

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 11:17 -- paul Crompton

Representatives from battery giant Samsung and vehicle OEM Hyundai Motor Group have met in Korea to discuss use of a lithium-ion solid-state cell in next-generation electric vehicles.

The meeting between Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee and Hyundai Motor Group's executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun was made on 12 May at the battery plant of Samsung Display in Cheonan, near Seoul, reported the country’s media outlet Aju Business Daily.

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VW and Northvolt JV plans for EU lithium-ion gigafactory gain momentum

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 15:42 -- paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM Volkswagen is investing €450 ($487million) to construct the buildings and infrastructure of a European lithium-ion gigafactory it is developing with its joint venture partner Northvolt.

Construction of the Northvolt Zwei factory in Salzgitter, Germany— close to VW’s existing Center of Excellence for Battery Cells— is due to begin by the close of the year with cell production scheduled for early 2024.

 

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Škoda re-starts European traction battery manufacturing after COVID-19 shutdown

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 15:31 -- paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM Škoda Auto has re-started production of its high-voltage traction batteries for the Volkswagon Group’s plug-in hybrid cars after a temporary shut-down due to COVID-19.

The firm has introduced more than 80 precautions for its workforce to allow production at its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, to re-start as planned. 

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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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