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Automotive and battery giants launch search for the industry’s best start-ups

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:42 -- Paul Crompton

Automotive OEMs Hyundai, Kia and lithium-ion battery giant LG Chem have sponsored a global competition to identify promising start-ups in the e-mobility industry. 

Start-ups developing technologies and business models for EVs and batteries can apply to the ‘EV & Battery Challenge’ until 28 August via a website set up especially for the competition. 

Up to 10 winning start-ups will have the opportunity to work with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem to develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories. 

The seven categories are: 

  1. Next-generation battery materials to increase mileage and safety 
  2. Recycling of battery materials
  3. Control systems to increase battery efficiency
  4. Process technology to increase productivity and quality control
  5. EV drive units
  6. Personalisation services for electric cars
  7. BEV’s charging and energy management

Among the credentials the judges are looking for are: a validated concept and a working prototype; should clearly differentiate from existing solutions and provide plans for global scale; include a business model based on credible commercial and economic assumptions.

Submitted documents will be examined in a first round with the most promising candidates interviewed personally via video conference in October.

The final selection committee is to meet in November at a workshop at the Hyundai Motor Group’s ‘Open Innovation Hub’ in Silicon Valley, California, US. 

After that, Hyundai, Kia and LG Chem will verify the technologies and review them to see if direct financial investment is possible.

New Energy Nexus, the international start-up support organisation, will manage and facilitate the competition.

Interested parties can view more details HERE

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Microporous triples lead-acid battery separator capacity with state-of-the-art production line

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:41 -- Paul Crompton

Lead-acid battery separator firm Microporous has opened a ‘state-of-the-art’ production line that triples its polyethylene (PE) separator capacity in the US.

Commissioned in March, the advanced lead-acid battery separator manufacturing facility include innovative features and the latest technologies available in the industry

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Battery maker Systems Sunlight promotes CCO to top seat

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 10:20 -- Paul Crompton

Lead-acid and lithium-ion battery maker Systems Sunlight has welcomed its new chief executive officer Lampros Bisalas.

Bisalas was promoted from chief commercial officer to the head of the company, which is a subsidiary of the Greek lead-acid battery maker and recycling organisation Olympia Group. 

The US firm’s board of directors made the decision to promote Bisalas, who has been with Sunlight for almost 12 years, on 29 April.

Robby Bourlas, CEO of Olympia Group, will remain as chairman of the board of Sunlight.

Bourlas said: “Sunlight’s biggest asset is its own team and Lampros is a great example of our commitment to restlessly develop our people.”

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Tesla effect attracts lithium-ion battery recycling firm to set up shop in north Nevada

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 11:44 -- Paul Crompton

Mineral extraction and battery recycling company American Battery Metals Corporation— which is changing its name to American Battery Technology Company— has chosen northern Nevada, US, for its lithium-ion battery recycling facility.

The company chose the location because of the proximity of Tesla's Gigafactory, established road and rail infrastructure, and access to a qualified labour pool. 

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Umicore secures EIB funding to develop European lithium-ion battery cathode plant

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 10:09 -- Paul Crompton

Materials technology firm Umicore has finalised a €125 million ($141 million) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as it looks to develop a lithium-ion battery cathode plant in Europe.

The proceeds of the loan, which has a maturity of eight years, will finance part of the Belgium firm’s investment in the cathode materials plant in Nysa. 

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Sodium-ion battery firm Faradion forges partnership to develop commercial vehicles in India

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 12:28 -- Paul Crompton

UK sodium-ion battery maker Faradion has announced plans to target India’s commercial vehicles market through a partnership with Infraprime Logistics Technologies.

The partnership to supply batteries for use in India’s IPLTech’s heavy goods vehicle fleet marks Faradion’s entry into the electric vehicle market.

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Engineering upgrades helps boost lithium-ion cathode recycling plant capacity by 150%

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 12:05 -- Paul Crompton

Metals firm American Manganese has more than doubled the capacity of its pilot lithium-ion battery cathode recycling plant in the US through engineering upgrades. 

The Canadian company raised capacity from 64 kg/day to 160 kg/day by adding thermal control of exothermic reactions that enable the plant to operate at higher pulp density. 

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Monbat CEO resigns amid allegation of illegal trafficking of hazardous lead battery waste

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 11:27 -- Paul Crompton

Bulgarian lead-acid battery company Monbat has begun its search for a new CEO after the resignation of Atanas Bobokov to “preserve the stability of the company”.

Bobokov made the announcement on 3 June following allegations he had illegally imported and exported waste lead battery products.

A Monbat statement read: “Monbat is in possession of the necessary notification issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Waters which is a must for the transportation of this “paste”, and it is being transported predominantly with own transport vehicles.  Monbat has never been involved in transportation of refuse and/or trash and trucks, property of Monbat, have never been detained.” 

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Firms form JV to manufacture lithium-ion battery cathode material in Canada

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:10 -- Paul Crompton

Prairie Lithium and LiEP Energy will initiate a two-stage pilot project to produce the key lithium-ion battery cathode material lithium hydroxide from oilfield brines in Canada.

Through a joint venture called the Prairie-LiEP Critical Mineral (PLCM) and pending regulatory permits, stage one of the project is expected to begin next month in Saskatchewan.

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BYD secures first deal with major global OEM as Ford aims to secure lithium-ion battery supply

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 10:50 -- Paul Crompton

Ford is set to source batteries for its electric vehicles through the China lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride battery maker BYD.

It is the first time the Chinese firm BYD (which stands for Build Your own Dreams) has made a deal with a major global automaker. 

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