Some believe the answer to tackling emission regulations is lithium-ion full electric vehicles, but the lead battery industry believes the answer lies with 48V hybrid applications.
One such company is US start-up Gridtential, which is pushing its Silicon Joule technology to one day be the 48V industry standard by making lead batteries cheaper and boosting performance.
Lead-acid battery industry stalwart Michael Mayer died last week.
Those who knew Michael were shocked whenr he died unexpectedly, but peacefully, at the age of 82 on November 1st.
Michael was a former manager of lead-acid batteries at the Lead Development Association (now International Lead Association).
However, Michael is probably best known as the founder of the European Lead Battery Conference in 1988— of which he still attended up to 2014.
He also formed the Electric Boat Association in 1985.
Well known throughout the industry, Michael had been retired officially for a number of years following a lifetime of involvement with lead-acid batteries
Michael, who has not always enjoyed the best of health, had been in better shape in recent years and so his passing came as a great shock to all of us, said a spokesman for the International Lead Association, of which Michael joined in 1979.
Who added: “Michael’s irrepressible enthusiasm and personable nature endeared him to everyone, and ensured that the events he organised were invariably well attended.”
“Michael’s legions of friends throughout the industry will miss him greatly.
Michael won the ILA Award in 2014 after spending many years with battery companies in the UK and the USA.
Michael’s wife Kim sadly died two years ago. He is survived by his son Kirk, his daughters Sian and Juno, and his granddaughter Daisy.
Life-time of work in the lead-acid industry
Michael graduated in 1955 with a BA in mathematics and physics.
Michael moved into the world of lead-acid batteries in 1971 with Globe Union Overseas, where he had responsibilities in battery technology and equipment sales.
When Globe Union Overseas was absorbed by Johnson Controls in 1978, Michael continued in this role for the new owners, before becoming Marketing Manager for Europe and the Far East with responsibility for battery technology licensing and equipment sales
In 1979, Michael returned to the UK and joined the Lead Development Association to head up the organisation's lead battery initiatives and activities.
These were very wide-ranging and included the promotion of lead-acid batteries; writing, editing and publishing newsletters and technical brochures; and arranging and taking part in lead-acid battery seminars and workshops in Europe and the Far East.
It was in the field of meetings organisation that Michael identified a series of topics that merited special attention and brought together the relevant communities to debate them.
A series of such meetings throughout Europe culminated in the creation of the first European Lead Battery Conference, which took place in Paris in 1988.
The European Lead Battery Conferences were an immediate success and after 28 years they are still growing and are the largest event of its kind in the world, providing the industry with a unique opportunity to learn about all the latest developments and to meet with all the key players.
No further details were available at the time of going to press.
Swedish-American energy storage system company Northstar will supply its Ultra High Performance pure lead AGM batteries to a major truck maker.
The batteries will be fitted into the next-generation Freightliner Cascadia Truck following a collaborative deal with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA).
Electrochemical lead recycling firm Aqua Metals was named the winner of the Rising Star category in the 2016 Platts Global Metals Awards program.
Aqua Metals was recognised for its AquaRefining process, the industry’s first commercially viable alternative lead-acid battery recycling technology.
The company was also named a finalist in the Industry Leadership Award – Base Metals category. All finalists and awardees were chosen from more than 100 nominees across 17 countries.
“It is an honor to earn the accolades of such a highly respected organization for our work to revolutionize the lead industry,” said Dr. Stephen Clarke (pictured), chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals.
“As we enter a ‘Battery Age,’ lead-acid technologies can experience continued market dominance with the development of a recycling method that is economically sustainable and environmentally responsible. This distinction affirms that Aqua Metals has developed just that.”
Aqua Metals also recently announced the signing of definitive agreements with Interstate Batteries. More here.
A deal to process 1,000,000 lead batteries a year will allow ‘green’ recycling start-up Aqua Metals to run its new plant at near capacity from day one once it opens.
The US company, which is opening an electrochemical lead recycling plant in Nevada this July, signed a definitive agreements with North American replacement battery maker Interstate Batteries.
Another Californian lead-acid battery recycler has been given 30 days to notify residents of possible health risks from its lead and arsenic emissions.
Battery recycler Quemetco, based in the Los Angeles industrial suburb of the City of Industry, has been told to cut its arsenic emissions after it was found there was an increased risk of cancer to 12,000 residents in the area.
The lead industry in North America is facing some of the biggest threats to its existence as a perfect storm of extremely bad news and regulatory challenges come to a climax in the next few months, David Weinberg, legal advisor to Battery Council International told its 2016 annual meeting last week.
Weinberg, recognised as one of the USA’s leading environmental law specialists, said the PR storm was probably the worst he had seen in his 30 year relationship with the industry body.
A senior Chinese official has said the lead battery consumption tax levied at the beginning of this year should be delayed or even exempted.
National People’s Congress (NPC) representative Liu Baosheng, who is also the chairman of Chinese lead-acid battery manufacturer Fengfan, said an exemption of the 4% consumption tax would help to relieve downward pressure on the battery industry.
A lead battery ‘cartel’ has been fined almost €4million ($4.5million) for price fixing during a ten year period in Belgium.
The six firms admitted their part in the cartel following the Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority inquiry.