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January Newsletter 2023

Updated: Apr 2


Dear battery enthusiast,

Welcome to Battery Associates’ January Newsletter. We summarised some of the month’s most relevant battery news, highlighting technology and research development, and updates from Battery Associates.


Battery Newsletter structure:

  • Battery Industry Highlights

  • Battery Insiders Podcast

  • B.A Updates & Events

Battery Industry Highlights

In this section, we summarise relevant battery news from the past month.


On January 24, Tesla announced an additional USD $3.6 billion investment to establish two new manufacturing facilities in Nevada to establish a 100 GWh 4680 cell manufacturing plant and their first high volume 'Semi' truck manufacturing facility. The 100 GWh 4680 cell factory will have the capacity to produce batteries for 1.5 million light duty vehicles annually, and 'Semi' is Tesla's fully electric combination truck, with 500 miles of range and energy consumption of less than 2 KWh per mile.


B.A Commentary: In late 2022, Tesla successfully produced 868k 4680 cells in 7 days in its 4680 pilot facility in Fremont, California and further invested in its Nevada facility for mass production of 4680 cells. Later, Tesla announced new investment in the two manufacturing factories in Nevada. Upon completion, Tesla's 'Gigafactory Nevada' will become the largest cell manufacturing facility in the world. In addition to its existing 37 GWh cell manufacturing facility, the total production volume will exceed 137+ GWh. To support this capacity increase, Tesla plans to recruit 3,000 new hires for its Nevada facility.


On January 18, the GBA launched the world’s first battery passport proof-of-concept pilots. After three years of pre-competitive multi-stakeholder collaboration with a wide array of organisations and companies spanning the battery value chain, GBA unveiled the illustrative results of its Battery Passport proof of concept at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Prior to the launch, GBA’s partners had developed key sustainability performance indicators related to the battery carbon footprint and child labour and human rights due diligence - set out in the Greenhouse Gas rulebook and the Child Labour and Human Rights indices.


B.A Commentary: The concept of a Battery Passport - a digital twin of a physical battery conveying information relevant to sustainability and lifecycle requirements - was endorsed at the 2021 G7 Leaders’ Meeting, in the EU Battery Regulation, and by the Canadian and U.S. administrations. Battery Passports are set to become a mandatory requirement in the EU by 2026 with other regions likely to follow. B.A is proud to have been involved with GBA’s battery passport. See the end of the newsletter for details.


On January 10, Factorial Inc., a manufacturer of solid-state battery (SSB) cells for EVs, announced the company’s first 100 Amp-hour (Ah) battery cells, initially showcased at the 2023 Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The battery cells were developed as part of Factorial and Stellantis' joint development agreement announced in November 2021.


B.A Commentary: Automakers around the globe are turning to solid-state batteries for their luxury models, and automakers like BMW, Austin Martin, NIO, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, KIA, Ford, Stellantis, and Volkswagen have announced plans to launch solid-state battery-powered EVS in 2025-2026. These automakers are actively funding and collaborating with their solid-state battery development partners. Factorial is one of the Solid State battery startups backed by various automakers like Hyundai, Kia, Stellantis, and Mercedes-Benz. Factorial claims that it has reached 30% more energy density than the Li-ion batteries (which will be approx. 350 Wh/kg) in its SSBs and plans to increase the energy density from 30% to 50% in their next generation.


On January 17, Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché announced that they had developed a high nickel G/NMCA Li-ion battery (cathode with 90% nickel and 5% cobalt, anode with graphite) using a water-based processing technique. This eliminated the need for the toxic organic solvent NMP (N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone) and replaced it with a more eco-friendly water-based solvent. Leclanché stated that the water-based process provides 10-30% lower energy consumption, the water binder-based NMCA cathodes are easier to dispose of and recyclable, and these G/NMCA Li-ion batteries offer a 20% increase in energy density compared to conventional G/NMC cells.


B.A Commentary: Anodes produced using water-based processes are not uncommon. Cathodes produced with water-based processes have also been reported. However, producing high nickel cathodes with water-based processes has been a challenge. High nickel cathodes are desirable due to their higher energy density and lower cobalt content. It will be interesting to observe their performance, including degradation, once they enter the market (expected in 2024). It will also be interesting to see if this or similar processes are reported by other manufacturers, including their applicability for related chemistries. This news further highlights the potential for optimising battery production processes, particularly in terms of sustainability and circularity.


On January 6, Caterpillar Inc, a leading U.S. manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, announced the company is investing in Lithos Energy, Inc., a U.S.-based battery technology company that produces lithium-ion battery packs. As stated by the company, this deal will help to accelerate the development of Caterpillar's electrified product portfolio.


B.A Commentary: In November 2022, Caterpillar demonstrated its fully electric mining truck prototype - 793 - to potential customers. As part of Caterpillar's electric transformation, they plan to invest in US-based battery pack manufacturer Lithos Energy to develop and manufacture battery packs for their large mining truck. To learn more about Caterpillar’s prototype demonstration, read our November 2022 Battery Newsletter.


On January 17, the state of Maharashtra in India announced a strategic energy partnership with Gogoro Inc. and Belrise Industries to establish a battery-swapping infrastructure plan, a joint 50-50 partnership to invest approximately USD $2.5 billion over eight years with the State of Maharashtra’s government to build an EV-fitted energy infrastructure across the state.


B.A Commentary: In 2022, the Indian government launched its battery-swapping policy draft to accelerate EVs like Automobile, Three-wheelers, and Two-wheelers etc, adoption by developing sufficient battery-swapping infrastructure in the country. As per the policy, purchasing an EV with a swappable battery is eligible for subsidies, and battery swapping companies can apply for government subsidies provided to battery manufacturers. Following this news, Gogoro and Belrise Industries committed a USD $2.5 billion investment in the state of Maharashtra, India.


On January 23, Honda and GS Yuasa announced reaching a basic agreement to develop high-capacity and high-output lithium-ion batteries mainly for EV purposes. Both parties plan to collaborate in a joint research and development, cell manufacturing technologies, managing intellectual property rights related to their joint research, and designing an efficient production operation including the supply chain for key raw materials.


B.A. Commentary: Partnerships between automakers and battery makers have become more common in the mobility industry. Honda has already partnered with other battery makers like LG Energy solutions in the U.S to manufacture Li-ion batteries for its EVs. Now Honda is partnering with GS Yuasa for the development of high capacity batteries, joint research, and operations of supply of key raw materials.


On January 16, LG Energy Solutions (LGES) signed an MOU with three companies (Hanwha, Solutions - owner of US clean energy provider Qcells, Hanwha Corporation/Momentum, and Hanwha Aerospace) from the Hanwha Group for future collaboration in battery businesses. This partnership provides LGES with a large volume of battery energy storage solution (BESS) client in the U.S market, and the two parties plan to establish ESS-specific battery production lines in the U.S. LGES is also planning to collaborate with Hanwha Corporation/Momentum to develop and provide battery manufacturing equipment for their Gigafactories. In addition, LGES and Hanwha Aerospace plan to collaborate to develop next-generation battery solutions for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market.


B.A Commentary: Partnerships among Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS)

providers and battery makers are becoming a new trend. In 2020, battery manufacturer FREYR Batteries announced a joint venture partnership with Nidec Energy, a BESS provider, and QuantumScape, a Solid state battery manufacturer partnered with Fluence, a BESS provider. Following this trend, Hanwha Solution, owner of Qcells BESS provider, partners with LGES and plan to invest in energy storage-specific production lines in LGES’s battery manufacturing facility in the U.S.


On January 4, Stellantis invested USD $150 million in equity capital in Archer, an American-based electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturing company. Stellantis will provide its advanced manufacturing expertise and equity capital to develop Archer’s eVOLT solution. Stellantis plans to become Archer’s exclusive contract manufacturer.


B.A. Commentary: As mobility solutions provider Stellantis expands its electrification portfolio, it makes sense for it to invest in eVOLT solution provider Archer. The major focus of this investment is to support Archer's commercialization of its eVOLT and become their exclusive contract manufacturer.


On January 20, BMW announced a strategic cooperation with its solid-state battery partner Solid Power. BWM planned to send its battery experts to Solid Power’s SSB pilot production facility in the U.S. to assist its cell development and manufacturing process. Both parties agreed upon this arrangement to accelerate SSB technology and commercialise the SSB solution in the battery market in the near future.


B.A. Commentary: BMW and Solid Power have decided to collaborate in order to speed up the development of Solid State Batteries (SSB). The primary objective of the partnership is to tackle the engineering challenges associated with scaling up the production process. BMW plans to start manufacturing SSB in its pilot plant in Munich on July 1, 2023.


On January 17, UK battery start-up BritishVolt collapsed into administration, with the majority of its 232 staff made redundant with immediate effect. The £3.8 billion UK factory planned to be built in Blyth was part of a long-term vision to boost the UK manufacturing capabilities of EVs. BritishVolt had only narrowly avoided collapse at the end of 2022 after an emergency lifeline was extended by Glencore, one of its investors.


B.A. Commentary: The quick turn of events that led to BritishVolt’s collapse leave many unclear about the UK’s electrification plans. Amidst the looming UK ban on sales of internal combustion engine cars after 2035, many await how the UK government plans on leading the future of the British car industry. Future plans to build a gigafactory in the UK will require an established manufacturer on board, along with strong political support needed to attract necessary funding.


Battery Insiders Podcast Summary

Battery Associates runs a monthly podcast called Battery Insiders. Battery Insiders covers the role of batteries for sustainable development and battery-relevant topics featuring a range of battery experts and enthusiasts. Our podcast also includes the recordings of the Battery Revolution Clubhouse sessions co-hosted live by Mariam Awara. Battery Insiders is hosted by Bhavya Jha and Dr Simon Engelke.


Talk on: "North America's Lithium Supply Chain"

Speaker: Dr. Saad Dara, CEO of Mangrove Lithium co-hosted by Dr. Simon Engelke and Mariam Awara


Session summary: On January 7, 2023 Battery Revolution Clubhouse hosted Dr. Saad Dara, CEO of Mangrove Lithium, who spoke on the topic of North America’s lithium supply chain. Listen to the full episode here.



Join the Battery Associates team!


We are looking for a new Chief of Staff to join our team! If you believe you’d be a good fit for this role and are passionate about our area of work, we would love to hear from you. Apply on LinkedIn here or reach out to Dr. Simon Engelke if you have question or know someone who might be a good fit. Our sincere thanks to Amandine Bressand for 2.5 years of hard work and dedication!


Arvensis releases Battery Talent Report 2022

On January 30, 2023, Arvensis Search and Battery Associates released the Battery Talent Report 2022 to provide up-to-date insights into the battery talent sector. The report offers an accurate understanding of key trends and drivers, from salary to company culture, to help businesses and HR leaders shape successful talent strategies. Read the key conclusions here and request the full report here.


Source: Website


Global Battery Alliance: Battery Passport

Battery Associates is a member of Global Battery Alliance (GBA), which has launched the first-ever Battery Passport proof of concept at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. The GBA is the world’s largest multi-stakeholder consortium to establish a sustainable battery value chain, comprising more than 130 public-private organisations. B.A is proud to have been involved in the development of the battery passport’s dedicated indices and rulebooks (namely the Greenhouse Gas rulebook and the Child Labour and Human Rights Indices), as well as the Track & Trace working group. Read the GBA’s press release here.


Battery Day 2023

Join us on Thursday September 21, 2023 for our online annual event - Battery Day 2023. Register on LinkedIn or apply to be a speaker here. Battery Day 2023 will feature panels and deep dive sessions to facilitate up-to-date knowledge about battery technology and advancements. Last year's Battery Day welcomed 900+ delegates from 60+ countries with 30+ leading speakers in the battery sector. You can purchase the recordings of Battery Day 2022 to access 10+ hours of content here. If you are interested in being involved in the event, please contact info@battery.associates. Sponsoring and speaking opportunities are available.



BatteryMBA Announcement

BatteryMBA’s eighth cohort starts on 8 May 2023, apply here and receive early access to 60+ past lecture recordings. The course consists of an exciting Battery Case Study Track (with case-studies from leading business schools). BatteryMBA alumni and participants work at Tesla, Airbus, JLR, Farasis Energy, Li-Cycle, Hitachi Energy, InoBat, AVL, Circulor, European Parliament, and many others. For any queries, please reach out at info@battery.mba.


Battery Associates services

Battery Associates offers consultancy, innovation, and education services on a wide range of topics. Please get in touch if you're interested in any of our services!


About Battery Associates

Battery Associates (B.A) is a community-driven company on a mission to accelerate sustainable battery innovation - join us!


B.A operates as a global network that unites battery experts (BatteryPRO), a platform for innovative projects (BatteryLAB), and a facilitator of training programmes for aspiring battery leaders (BatteryEDU). B.A's educational programmes notably includes BatteryMBA, a 12-week programme training aspiring battery leaders.


We are rapidly becoming a reference community for battery enthusiasts who want to tackle pressing environmental and energy-related challenges. Battery Associates currently unites battery experts working across the battery value supply chain, based in over 20 countries. We're growing, join us in our work!


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