This Week in Batteries – Week 26

Welcome to this week’s battery roundup. The most important news surrounding battery technology and production from Europe and beyond.

Renault Makes New Electrification Strategy Public; New Gigafactory

French automaker Renault held a press event on their updated strategy for EVs and batteries this week. At the two-hour-long launch event “Renault eWays“, the company announced a new type of battery cell. However, the cells in Renault vehicles will feature an NMC and not an LFP cell chemistry as was previously speculated. Similar to what was announced at Tesla’s “Battery Day” or at VW’s “Power Day”, Renault will produce cells for different segments. The strategic partners include LG Chem, Envision AESC, and the startup Verkor. With these partnerships, Renault expects to cut the cost of its batteries by 50% down to 80 $/kWh by 2030. Charging times are also expected to be halved from 20-25 minutes to 12 minutes.

Sophie Schmidtlin, VP Research and Advanced Engineering presented the details of Renault’s new battery cells. Credit: Renault

Renault and Envision AESC will also set up a battery plant in Douai in northern France. Similar to Nissan’s battery plant, the Gigafactory will have an annual capacity of 9 GWh in 2024 with the aim of reaching 24 GWh by 2030.

I’ll take a closer look at the specifications announced at the event soon. You can follow me on Twitter (@BatteryBayEU) if you don’t want to miss that article.

BASF is Building a Battery Recycling Plant

Chemical company BASF plans on building a battery recycling prototype plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, at the site of its cathode active materials (CAM) plant. The German company wants to start operations in 2023.

BASF battery recycling prototype plant. Credit: BASF

The materials to be extracted from the spent batteries include lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese. They will be used to produce new cathode active material.

“With this investment in battery recycling, plus leading process technology for manufacturing of cathode active materials, we aim to ‘close the loop’ while reducing the CO2 footprint of our cathode active materials by up to 60 percent in total compared to industry standards.”

Dr. Matthias Dohrn, Senior VP, Precious and Base Metal Services, BASF

If you’re interested in the importance and processes of battery recycling, I recommend this great article by Ian Morse.

Infinity Will Sell Spanish Lithium to LG Energy Solutions

Australian mining company Infinity Lithium and battery manufacturer LG Energy have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a partnership in the battery value chain. Infinity Lithium intends on supplying LG with lithium hydroxide from its mine in the Extremadura region in Spain.

In an open-cast mine and with an on-site processing plant, the company expects to be able to produce around 15,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year. The MOU includes 10,000 tonnes per year over an initial 5 year period. A binding contract will be drawn up next year.

If you’re interested in the project and in other European lithium mining projects, check out my article from a couple of weeks back.

European Commission and BEPA Announce €925 Million Funding for a Sustainable European Battery Value Chain

The European Commission and the Batteries European Partnership have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch BATT4EU. BATT4EU is a private-public partnership under Horizon Europe. The objectives include supporting the developments in the battery industry, making battery solutions more sustainable, and advancing stationary storage, as well as more specific operational objectives.

Fields included in the BATT4EU project. Credit: BEPA

The partnership will fund different projects with around €925 million to establish a competitive and sustainable European battery value chain.

Farasis Energy Extends Strategic Partnerships in Europe

Battery company Farasis Energy has established two new partnerships to strengthen its position in the European battery landscape. The first cooperation was formed with German automotive supplier Hella to develop a modular BMS. The second partner was not made public, Farasis will supply this manufacturer with battery cells for buses.

Farasis Energy had previously formed a partnership with Daimler which was rumored to be in limbo due to inadequate cells. It is unclear whether Daimler will produce its own battery cells in the future.

Nissan Reveals Official Plans for Sunderland Gigafactory

Japanese automaker Nissan announced its detailed plans for its future Sunderland battery plant. Together with Chinese Envision AESC, the company will set up a 9 GWh battery plant. The capacity will be scaled up to 25 GWh by 2030 and possibly up to 35 GWh at a later point in time.  That way, the town in the north of England will become the company’s European hub for EVs.

Envision AESC battery plant in Sunderland. Credit: Nissan

At the same time, Nissan announced the next generation of its battery cells. They will have a 30% higher energy density than previous models. Other announcements include a factory for EVs and a small 2nd life application grid storage for spent batteries.

This is not a complete list of news from this week but the press releases and articles I found the most interesting. Let me know if I missed anything important.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@BatteryBayEU), where I post some of the news before they end up in my weekly roundup. I’m looking forward to learning about your involvement or interest in the industry and chatting about everything batteries.

Also, please feel free to use the comment section below to leave any feedback or suggestions!

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