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Planned Kenyan recycling plant will regenerate lead batteries for ‘half-price’ re-sale

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 12:11 -- Paul Crompton

Plans to establish a recycling facility in Kenya to prevent the illegal dismantling of lead batteries are moving forward thanks to Betrilyf Solutions, a subsidiary of civil construction firm Avcon Contractors.

The facility at Athi River Township will ‘regenerate’ old batteries with the addition of ‘additives’ before being sold as second-hand at a cost of up to 50% less than new batteries.

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Ford halts sales of its Kuga PHEV car after overheating battery packs cause fires

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 09:44 -- Paul Crompton

A series of fires thought to have been caused by the vehicle’s battery has forced car maker Ford to ‘temporarily’ stop sales of its Kuga plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Owners of the cars have also been told not to recharge their vehicles after overheating of the battery’s charging module was thought to be the cause of the fires.

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Fiamm launches BMS equipped lead-acid battery to prevent theft from remote locations

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:23 -- Paul Crompton

A battery has been launched by lead-acid firm Fiamm Energy Technology and remote management innovator Galooli to prevent theft and increase battery llife.

Italian company Fiamm will equip its battery with Galooli's AI Remote Management and GPS Tracking Solution to fight industrial-battery theft— a concern for operators of remote assets in the telecom and railway industries.

The battery equipped with a built-in Galooli unit enables monitoring and management of its activity remotely, as well as analysing and predicting its output. 

The companies also claim the new battery will increase battery lifetime, and maximise its performance.

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COVID pandemic hits bottom line for Indian lead-acid battery maker

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:02 -- Paul Crompton

Indian lead-acid battery maker Exide Industries is focusing on ‘cost control’ and ‘technology upgradation’ to improve the bottom-line after COVID-19 caused a distribution in the supply chain.

The company announced on 3 August that its net turnover for the second quarter of the year ending June 30, was down Rs.1,232 crore ($16 million) compared to year-on-year figures (Rs. 2,779.25 crores or $37 million).

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US Battery partners with Gridtential Energy to mass market bipolar lead-acid batteries

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:57 -- Paul Crompton

Lead battery maker Gridtential Energy has entered into a formal agreement to collaborate on its Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology with flooded lead-acid battery firm US Battery.

Under the terms of the agreement, the firms will industrialise bipolar plate pasting and curing processes.

The partnership will also include assembling and testing Silicon Joule™ bipolar AGM batteries using US Battery’s active material.

The goal is to improve the batteries cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency, charging rates and manufacturability. 

Last month, Indian battery maker Amara Raja Batteries announced a partnership with Gridtential Energy to collaborate on bipolar lead-acid batteries— with the former assembling and testing the US-based firm’s Silicon Joule bipolar reference batteries. 

Read more about the reduced-cost and performance impvrovements that bipolar batteries offer in the latest edition of BESTmag by clicking HERE

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Start-up Verkor plans to develop France’s second gigafactory

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:23 -- Paul Crompton

Battery start-up Verkor is set to increase European battery cell production with  a16GWh lithium-ion gigafactory in an as yet undisclosed location in France. 

With support of EIT Energy, Schneider Electric and the IDEC Group, the new venture will produce low-carbon batteries in France to help meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and battery energy stationary storage (BESS).

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Lithium-ion battery giant CATL raises almost $3billion through private share placement

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:38 -- Paul Crompton

China lithium-ion battery giant Contemporary Amperax Technology (CATL) has closed a funding round that attracted 19.7 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) from nine investors.

The round saw cash pour in from banking giants UBS (1.1 billion yuan, $157 million) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (1.5 billion yuan, $215 million), and a subsidiary of Japanese automaker Honda Motor— according to Chinese media group Caixin.

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German batteries act amendment

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:58 -- Paul Crompton

The German Bundestag is expected to pass a ‘batteries collection’ bill in September intended to level the playing field and includes new requirements from the Waste Framework Directive.

The German cabinet has drafted changes to the German Batteries Act and the German Federal Council has, with changes, approved the amendment. 

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Private investment affiliate buys troubled lead-acid battery firm Exide Technologies in bankruptcy auction

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 11:59 -- Paul Crompton

An auction for lead-acid battery firm Exide Technologies’ Americas business closed last week with a winning proposal from an affiliate of US private investment firm Atlas Holdings.  

Under the terms of the proposed agreement the affiliate of Atlas will acquire all of Exide's ongoing Americas business and operations for around $179 million and assume certain liabilities related to the acquired assets.

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Varta lays foundation stone at German lithium-ion production plant

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 12:28 -- Paul Crompton

Battery maker Varta has laid the foundation stone at its lithium-ion production facility at the company's production site in Nördlingen, Germany. 

The new building will provide an additional 15,000 square meters of production space to enable the German-battery maker to produce its latest generation of lithium-ion cells from next year.

The lithium-ion battery cell factory will cater for the wearables and the Internet of things market.

Varta CEO Herbert Schein said the expansion of its CoinPower cell production will one day manufacture lithium-ion cells with a 30% improved energy density.

Varta Group plans to transfer its small-cell technology to larger formats. Varta has received a total of €300 million ($341 million) funding to help transfer its technology to larger format batteries for use in energy storage and mobility applications.

The Federal State of Bavaria is contributing €32million ($36 milion) for the research and development of lithium-ion technology at the Nördlingen site. The federal government is contributing another €70 million ($80 million). 

The foundation stone was laid by Bavaria's prime minister Dr. Markus Söder and the secretary of state in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Roland Weigert. 

Image: Bavaria's Prime Minister Dr. Markus Söder and CEO Herbert Schein in the factory in Nördlingen. Photo: Varta

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