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Envision joins race to build UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Thu, 07/08/2021 - 11:25 -- Paul Crompton
Envision joins race to build UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory that will form part of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) electric vehicle hub.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin, with Envision potentially investing up to £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to reach to 25GWh capacity by 2030 with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

Envision AESC, the battery arm of Envision Group, already owns and operates a battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 to supply batteries to Nissan.

Envision plans to manufacture batteries for up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year at the gigafactory that will sit opposite the Nissan plant.

Lei Zhang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, said: "His commitment builds on our long-term partnership with Nissan. It will put the North East at the heart of a new EV hub in the UK, collaborating on R&D around the whole battery lifecycle, from storage, to second life use, V2G smart charging and closed loop recycling." 

The gigafactory is part of the Nissan EV36Zero hub, which will bring together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production at one site. 

The billion-dollar project has been launched with investment by Nissan, Envision AESC, and Sunderland City Council.

Nissan will invest up to £423 million ($585 million) to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. 

Nissan started production in Sunderland in July 1986. 

Race to build a gigafactory

According to the Faraday Institution, the UK will need eight gigafactories to meet domestic demand from EV and energy storage system developers.

Joining the race for the UK’s first gigafactory is Britishvolt, which announced last December it was set to build its plant in the North East of England— five months after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Welsh government.

The company plans to begin construction of its plant in the Summer of 2021 after acquiring exclusive rights to a site in Blyth Northumberland. 

Read more about the Britishvolt’s plans in the Autumn 2020 edition of BEST magazine HERE

France gigafactory

Envision AESC is partnering with Renault Group to develop a 9GWh gigafactory in Douai by 2024, with aim of reaching 24GWh six-years later. 

Envision will invest up to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) to produce batteries for electric models, including the future Renault R5, at the plant in Douai situated near to Renault ElectriCity production sites at Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz.

Lei Zhang, founder and chief executive officer of Envision Group, said: “This first phase development will unlock future large-scale investment to grow the local supply chain and develop the whole life cycle opportunities of batteries, including energy storage, battery reuse, smart charging and closed loop recycling.”

 

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Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 12:14 -- Paul Crompton
Envision Group UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory that will form part of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) electric vehicle hub.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin, with Envision potentially investing up to £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to reach to 25GWh capacity by 2030 with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

Envision AESC, the battery arm of Envision Group, already owns and operates a battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 to supply batteries to Nissan.

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Renault at centre of plans to build 74GWh of lithium-ion manufacturing capacity in France

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:34 -- Paul Crompton
verger innovation centre

Two major deals could see France build 74GWH of lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity by 2030.

Vehicle OEM Renault is at the heart of the deals that could see it secure battery supplies from plants being built by Chinese firm Envision and French firm Verkor.

Renault Group is partnering with Envision AESC— the battery arm of Envision Group— to develop a 9GWh gigafactory in Douai by 2024, with the aim of reaching 24GWh six-years later. 

Envision will invest up to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) to produce batteries for electric models, including the future Renault R5, at the plant in Douai situated near to Renault ElectriCity production sites at Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz.

Lei Zhang, founder and chief executive officer of Envision Group, said: “This first phase development will unlock future large-scale investment to grow the local supply chain and develop the whole life cycle opportunities of batteries, including energy storage, battery reuse, smart charging and closed loop recycling.”

Verkor gigafactory

Renault Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to become a “more than” 20% shareholder of Verkor, and plans to join the consortium that was created around the French start-up in 2020. 

The initial phases of the partnership will involve the financing of an R&D centre (Verkor Innovation Centre) in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in France, and a pilot line for battery cell and module prototyping and production as early as next year. 

The second phase will see Verkor move to create a 16GWh gigafactory— for which 10GWh is earmarked for Renault— for high performance batteries in France, with potential to rise to 20GWh by 2030.

Verkor aims to reach a total annual capacity target of 50GWh by 2030, of which 20GWh will go to Renault Group.

A Verkor spokesman told BEST construction of the plant will start in 2023 and the ramp up will start throughout 2025. Full capacity will be reached in 2026.

The 16GWh plant will cost around €1 billion ($1.1 billion).

The spokesman said: “We will sell in Europe to the mobility and stationary storage segments, with the OEM taking the volume lion’s share.”

Verkor has formed “numerous” partnerships, to develop a competitive and transparent value chain, which will be announced over the next few weeks.

Renault Group will join existing shareholders EIT InnoEnergy, Groupe IDEC, Schneider Electric and Capgemini

Benoit Lemaignan CEO and co-founder of Verkor said: “This is a first step in a series of major announcements to come over the following weeks which will demonstrate our progress in our plan to generate up to 50GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2030 – a cornerstone in developing a competitive, sovereign and sustainable battery supply chain in Europe.”

Through the partnership, Renault Group will build on its knowledge of battery cell manufacturing while leveraging Verkor’s excellence in manufacturing low-carbon batteries through digital innovation. 

Race to build UK’s first gigafactory

Envision Group has joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory that will form part of a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) electric vehicle hub.

The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland, UK.

Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin, with Envision potentially investing up to £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to reach to 25GWh capacity by 2030 with potential on site for up to 35GWh. 

 
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Entek MoU signals lithium-ion battery seperator partnership with UK gigafactory

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 16:27 -- Paul Crompton
Entek MoU signals lithium-ion battery sepertor partnership with UK gigafactory

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand a UK battery separator manufacturing supply chain has been signed between UK lithium-ion gigafactory developer Britishvolt and battery separator firm Entek.

Firming their ongoing collaboration, the MoU sets out a roadmap to use Entek’s separators in Britishvolt’s batteries with the goal of creating a scalable production of lithium battery separators in the UK.

The MoU also sets out potential investment in facilities at Entek’s battery separator plant in Newcastle-upon-tyne and a co-located facility within Britishvolt’s Blyth campus in the UK.

The deal is the foundation for a long-term separator supply agreement that will allow Entek to invest in the UK’s first lithium battery separator plant.  

Larry Keith, Entek CEO said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Britishvolt’s preferred lithium-ion battery separator partner and eager to align our objectives and investments with their transformational plans to build a 30+ gigawatt hour factory in the UK”.

Britishvolt is delighted to be entering into this non-binding aagreement with ENTEK to supply lithium-ion battery separators.

Colocation at Britishvolt’s site aims to reduce the length of the supply chain and the carbon footprint of battery production.

Entek has a long history of investing in its UK operations and is a natural partner for Britishvolt as it establishes itself as the premier Lithium battery manufacturer in the UK.  Together, ENTEK and Britishvolt are committed to the future of electrification of vehicles with products made domestically.

Earlier this year, Battery separator firm Entek signed a deal to acquire the majority stake in Nippon Sheet Glass’ (NSG) lead-acid battery separator business.

You can read more about Entek in the forthcoming BEST magazine, published in mid-July. Subscribe here to make sure you receive your copy.

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First New York lithium-ion cells made as consortium eyes 45GWh global capacity

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 12:14 -- Paul Crompton

A consortium has made its first lithium-ion cells as it moves toward plans for a commercially viable 15GWh gigafactory in New York, US.

Imperium3 New York (iM3NY) has produced its first full sized prismatic cells for limited testing and customer sampling in Q3 of this year.

The first cells were produced using manual settings to refine the product design for future automated production. 

Imperium3 New York consortium consists of Magnis Energy, C4V LLC New York and Boston Energy and Innovation.

The consortium said the cells were the first stage of demonstration of its ability to synchronise material science, engineering and process knowledge to produce a commercially viable lithium-ion cell. 

A Magnis statement read: “While the volumes would increase with fully optimised and automated lines, the current phase works towards production grade design and de-risks design unknowns involved in the transition from pilot production to full scale production.”

The manufacturing plant will be located in the Huron Campus of Endicott, New York State, and will be the first of three global locations that Imperium3 will commence volume operations from. 

Plans also include a 15GWh lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Townsville, Australia. 

In all, the consortium aims to build three 15GWh battery manufacturing plants servicing global markets such as Australasia, North America and the Middle East.

Australia’s abundance of raw battery materials has led another firm to launch plans for a 1.3GWh factory.

Energy Renaissance secured AUS$246,625 ($175,000) co-funded grant last year to push forward plans for its Renaissance One plant, which will manufacture batteries for Australia and export to Southeast Asia.

 
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Zaf Energy weeks from deciding location of its US nickel-zinc battery gigafactory

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 10:28 -- Paul Crompton
Zaf Energy weeks from deciding location of its US nickel-zinc battery gigafactory

The ultimate location of a nickel-zinc (NiZn) battery gigafactory is just weeks away after ZAF Energy Systems drew up a short list of six US cities to build the facility in.

The new factory will be capable of producing 1.2 million NiZn batteries, or around 2GWh of production, a year.

The gigafactory will focus on the data center and telecom markets exclusively.

The company’s Kirk Plautz, told BEST the list of 31 sites had been reduced to six, with the company set to announce the final location within the next 30 to 45 days. 

He added that he was unable to share the selected list of six cities before the final decision was made.

The firm will build products for the defense, aerospace and medical markets in Joplin, Missouri, through its spin off company AEsir Technologies.

ZAF is the parent company and IP holding company of AEsir, which focuses on the defense, aerospace, medical and critical infrastructure markets, said Plautz, ZAF’s, and now Æsir’s, VP of marketing and sales.

In spinning off Æsir— to continue to serve the specialty markets— ZAF has granted Æsir a non-exclusive license to use the NiZn intellectual property.

Work will continue to be performed at (now) Æsir’s LRIP facility for all current and future contracts to continue to serve customers needing energy storage solutions in the specialty markets. 

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Norwegian gigafactory firm signs lithium-ion battery technology deal

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 15:25 -- Paul Crompton

Norwegian gigafactory firm Freyr has signed a definitive license and services agreement to use 24M’s SemiSolid lithium-ion battery platform technology at its planned facilities in Mo i Rana, Norway.

24M has drastically reduced the number of steps required to manufacture traditional battery cells, while still using conventional lithium-ion raw materials. 

Freyr expects this will reduce the capital expenditures and enable ‘substantial operational cost saving’ while increasing production throughput through a highly flexible production platform that works across all chemistries and can be re-tooled for various sized batteries and cathode and anode chemistries.

Tom Jensen, the CEO of Freyr, said: “24M has fundamentally redesigned the traditional lithium-ion cell technology and production platform, delivering higher energy density per battery while enabling substantial reduction in capex, operating costs, CO2 emissions and physical footprint of the manufacturing facility as compared to conventional solutions.”

In June 2019, Japan firm Kyocera began pilot production of 24M’s SemiSolid battery technology to validate its use in residential energy storage systems in the Japanese market.

Freyr is targeting the development of more than 40GWh of scalable, modular battery cell production capacity via a phased development approach using deep partnership-based strategies, including in-licensing of next generation technologies. 

In December, Freyr signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with mining company Glencore International for the potential supply of ethically sourced and traceable raw materials.  

 

 

Gigafactory firm Britishvolt appoints lithium-ion battery expert as CTO

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 11:24 -- Paul Crompton

Britishvolt has appointed Dr Allan Paterson as its chief technical officer as the company continues its bid to build a lithium-ion gigafactory in the UK.

Paterson is a specialist in automotive batteries and next-generation technologies and holds a PhD in Chemistry on advanced cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. 

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Race hots up to build Australia’s first lithium-ion gigafactory as Imperium3 receives governmental backing

Thu, 08/20/2020 - 11:11 -- Paul Crompton

A consortium is moving to the next stage of plans to build an AUS$3 billion ($2 billion) lithium-ion gigafactory in Queensland, Australia, after receiving the go-ahead from the state’s government.

The Queensland Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation has approved the feasibility study by the Imperium3 Townsville consortium, which includes Magnis, Charge CCCV (C4V), and Boston Energy and Innovation and National Bank Australia.

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EU launches investigation into finances surrounding LG Chem’s Poland lithium-ion gigafactory.

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 10:48 -- Paul Crompton

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the finances surrounding Korean lithium-ion battery maker LG Chem’s gigafactory in Poland.

An investigation has been launched to assess if €95 million ($112 million) of public support granted by Poland to the Korean company is in line with EU rules on regional State aid. 

The cash was earmarked for investing in the expansion of battery cell production facility for electric vehicles in Biskupice Podgórne in the Dolnoślaskie region, Poland.

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