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Leclanché to contribute ‘breakthough’ tech to German battery consortium

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Leclanché to contribute ‘breakthough’ tech to German battery consortium

Leclanché is working on a “breakthrough technology” that could be rolled out as part of its contribution to a government-backed battery cell consortium in Gemany, BEST Battery Briefing (BBB) can reveal.

Leclanché CEO Anil Srivastava (pictured) told BBB research and development work was already under way, but he said details could not yet be revealed, other than to say the technology was “within lithium”.

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ESS flow batteries first taker of Munich Re’s ‘performance insurance’

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
ESS flow batteries first taker of Munich Re’s ‘performance insurance’

Munich Re has launched an insurance policy for battery manufacturers to insure against the risk of their products not delivering as promised.

The Germany-based insurance group said the move would allow manufacturers to offer long-term performance guarantees, “whose value is backed by the insurance coverage”.

And US-based all-iron flow battery maker Energy Storage Systems confirmed it was including 10-year insurance coverage on its long-duration energy storage products through Munich Re.

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Shell tightens grip on storage with Sonnen takeover

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Fossil fuel giant Shell has acquired 100% of German battery storage firm Sonnen for an undisclosed sum.

The move comes less than a year after Sonnen raised €60 million (US$70.5m) in a financing round led by Shell.

Shell said the deal, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, aimed to “accelerate the building of a customer-focused energy system in support of Shell’s strategy to offer more and cleaner energy solutions to customers”.

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Macron raises alarm on European battery dependence

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

France will invest €700 million (US$788.8 million) over the next five years to boost the European battery industry and reduce reliance on Asian battery makers, President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Speaking to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers in Paris, Macron said that Europe needs a “wake-up call” on batteries, referencing the threat of external dependence for an increasingly vital resource in an era of international trade wars.

“In terms of sovereignty and independence, I think it’s not good in the long run for our industry to be 100 per cent reliant on non-Europeans,” Macron was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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Mercedes adds batteries to investments in Poland

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Mercedes-Benz is to build a new battery factory in Jawor, Poland, creating 300 jobs and expanding the global battery production network of Mercedes to nine factories across three continents.

The announcement follows up on the German automotive manufacturer’s electric initiative, under which the company will “electrify the complete portfolio until 2022”.

Mercedes is currently building a “state-of-the-art engine factory” at the site in Jawor, 100 kilometres from the German border. This plant “will produce four cylinder engines for hybrid and conventionally driven vehicles” and will be the first production site of Mercedes cars in Poland.

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Germany names ‘national battery factory’ consortium

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Federal research minister Karliczek  © BMBF / Hans-Joachim Rickel

Germany has revealed the partners of a new government-backed battery cell consortium, as part of plans to secure the nation’s “technological sovereignty in battery technology”.

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected to join the consortium along with German battery peers BMZ, TerraE, Customcells, EAS and Liacon.

Federal research minister Anja Karliczek said Germany would invest an extra €500 million (US$570m) in battery research over the next four years, including the construction of a ‘national battery research factory’— to be operated by the consortium— bringing research and production activities “under one roof”.

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Second Korean collaboration for BMZ Group

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
BMZ's Sven Bauer and Samsung SDI's Michael Son at the contract signing

Germany’s BMZ Group and South Korea’s Samsung SDI have entered a long-term cooperation agreement to jointly promote the expansion of electromobile applications in the European market.

Karlstein-based BMZ said Samsung SDI, “one of the world's largest cell manufacturers, will rely in the future on BMZ as system supplier for battery systems, integration and software”.

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BMZ takes control of TerraE to launch German cell production ‘by 2020’

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Sven Bauer

Lithium-ion developer and producer BMZ has taken control of German peer TerraE Holding, in a move to cement Germany’s position as a future leader in European battery cell manufacturing.

BMZ, which describes itself as Europe’s largest producer of lithium-ion battery systems, said taking majority ownership was part of plans to launch battery cells production in Germany by 2020.

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Germany’s billion-euro bid to lead EU battery cell production

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Peter Altmeier

Germany has pledged to pump €1 billion (US$1.1bn) into promoting battery cell production by 2021— with the aim of German and European producers “supplying 30% of global demand” by 2030.

The head of the federal economic affairs and energy ministry, Peter Altmaier, also revealed a “new battery cell consortium” could be formed in Germany around the end of this year.

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JCI quits batteries with Power Solutions sale

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Cyrus Madon

Johnson Controls International (JCI) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its battery business Power Solutions to US and Canadian investment firms Brookfield Business Partners and CDPQ in a cash transaction valued at US$13.2 billion.

The deal ends months of feverish speculation about the future of Power Solutions.

New York and Toronto-listed Brookfield is the business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management. Quebec-based CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) is an institutional investment fund manager.

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