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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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UV adhesive curing technique speeds up cylindrical lithium-ion cell assembly

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 13:37 -- Paul Crompton

German chemical companies Henkel and Covestro have collaborated to develop a solution that enables cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells to be fixed inside a plastic cell holder. 

The solution is based on Henkel’s Loctite AA 3963 battery assembly adhesives and Covestro’s UV-transparent polycarbonate blend Bayblend®.

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Varta in second legal action over lithium-ion patent infringements with US suit against Samsung

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 09:57 -- Paul Crompton

German battery company Varta is suing Samsung Electronics America over alleged lithium-ion coin cell patent infringements in the US.

The South Korean battery giant is accused of patent infringements relating to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in Galaxy Buds earphones including batteries obtained from China’s Eve Energy bearing the part number ICR 1254. 

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Chinese patent infringements spurs Varta to increase annual production of lithium-ion cells by 50 million

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 11:11 -- Paul Crompton

German firm Varta AG is taking legal action against Chinese battery manufacturers for alleged patent infringements on its lithium-ion coin cells.

The German company has made the allegations about Chinese competitors EVE Energy and MIC-Power based in South China's Guangdong Province.

Subscribe to BEST here to receive your copy of the latest magazine that includes a look at patent law. 

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Rolls-Royce eyes the microgrid market with majority share in ESS firm

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:43 -- Paul Crompton

Luxury car brand Rolls-Royce has upped its interest in German lithium-ion energy storage firm Quinous as turns its focus on the microgrid market.

The firm, which owns German industrial concern Rolls-Royce Power Systems, now holds a 73.1% majority stake in the Berlin-based storage specialist, the companies announced on 15 January.

Image: Andreas Schell (right), CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems Division, and Steffen Heinrich co-founder and co-managing director of Qinous

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Audi and Umicore to recover cobalt and nickel from lithium-ion batteries as they continue to pursue closed loop goal

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 10:24 -- Paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM Audi and recyclers Umicore have recovered 90% of the cobalt and nickel from the German car maker’s e-tron battery packs during the test phase of their strategic research project. 

Audi and the Belgian materials technology and recycling firm will now enter the next phase of the plan to cooperate on a closed loop for cobalt and nickel materials. 

The recovered materials will be used in new battery cells.

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AMG starts work on ‘battery grade’ lithium-ion cathode material plant in Germany

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 15:24 -- Paul Crompton

Metals firm AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group aims to build a ‘battery grade’lithium hydroxide refining facility in Germany through its subsidiary AMG Lithium.

The refining plant and AMG Lithium’s state-of-the-art lithium hydroxide and battery materials laboratory in Frankfurt-Hoechst is set to cost up to $60 million.

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