This Week in Batteries – Week 29

Welcome to this week’s battery roundup. The most important news surrounding battery technology and production from Europe and beyond. This week, not a lot happened in the European battery ecosystem, so it’s a quick read!

Daimler Presents Plan for Fully Electric Fleet

Daimler now officially confirmed it will produce its own battery cells in the future. The company announced that it will establish eight new battery plants with a total capacity of 200 GWh together with different partners. Four Gigafactories will be built in Europe. No specifications were made on the batteries themselves, however, the battery cells will be highly standardized and will be featured in 90% of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Daimler battery system production in Untertürkheim. Will a battery plant be added to that site in the future? Credit: Daimler AG

Daimler’s diversification into the battery business has long been rumored, not least because the company was dissatisfied with its supplier Farasis Energy. Daimler is also preparing for the “fully electric” market by the end of the decade. However, Daimler CEO Ola Källenius has not yet committed to a date for the end of Daimler ICE cars like other companies like Opel (2028) or Audi (2033) have.

Vulcan Energy Secures Deal With LG Chem

German-Australian Company Vulcan Energy plans to extract lithium hydroxide from geothermal brine in the German Upper Rhine Valley by 2024. Some time ago, I presented the company and its plans in my overview on European lithium mining projects. Now Vulcan Energy says, LG Chem will acquire battery-grade lithium hydroxide from them in the future. In 2024 they will supply the Korean chemical company, which is a big player in the battery industry, with 5,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide, after that, the purchased quantity will rise to 10,000 tonnes per year. In total, Vulcan Energy wants to work its way up from 15,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year to 25,000 tonnes per year at the German site. It has been rumored that Stellantis might become another buyer.

BASF to Develop Battery Cells with Porsche’s Cellforce

Recently established Cellforce Group, a joint venture by Porsche and the battery company Customcells, named BASF as a technology partner for cell development. By 2024, Cellforce plans to start operations at its 100 MWh battery plant for Porsche’s high-performance batteries.

In the future, BASF will supply Cellforce with cathode active materials (black powder) made from different precursors. Credit: BASF

BASF will provide the NMC cathode active material for the cells that will be produced in Tübingen in southern Germany. The company’s cathode active material production plant in Schwarzheide will begin operations in 2022.

“BASF’s cathode active materials […] will have an industry leading low CO₂ impact thanks to our efficient manufacturing process, the high share of renewable energy, the upstream integration into the key raw materials as well as the short transportation route along the value chain. With battery recycling we can ensure that valuable materials are kept in the production loop and further reduce the COfootprint of our cathode materials by an expected total of up to 60%.”

Dr. Markus Kamieth, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE

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.

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