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March Newsletter 2023

Updated: Apr 2


Dear battery enthusiast,

Welcome to Battery Associates’ March 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

  • B.A Editorial

  • Battery Insiders Podcast

  • B.A Company Member Updates

  • B.A Updates & Events


Battery Industry Highlights

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


Dear battery enthusiast,

Welcome to Battery Associates’ March 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

  • B.A Editorial

  • Battery Insiders Podcast

  • B.A Company Member Updates

  • B.A Updates & Events

Battery Industry Highlights

In this section, we have summarised relevant battery news from the past month.Battery Associates' March news highlights


On March 1, Tesla announced its plans to invest over USD $5 billion in an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Nuevo León, Mexico. The plant is set to become the largest EV manufacturing plant in the world, with both battery and EV manufacturing facilities integrated into one location. The company expects to hire between 4000 and 6000 employees for the operation of the facility.


B.A Commentary: To match the global demand for EVs in the market, Tesla is planning to increase its production capacity in their existing Gigafactories in the U.S. and China. In addition to this, to have a global network of factories, Tesla announced its new Gigafactory will be established in Nuevo León, Mexico. Mexico is one of the potential EV markets in American region with Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 2023-2027 of 23.95%. As of January 2023, Tesla alone has a 48% market share in the EV vehicle market in Mexico but EVs made up just 0.5% of domestic auto sales last year, according to Mexico's Auto Industry Association (AMIA). In addition to that, cars and batteries manufactured in Mexico are eligible for IRA incentives proposed by the U.S. and the end products can be shipped to U.S. and Canada duty-free. These factors may have attracted Tesla to establish its manufacturing facility in Mexico.


On March 24, LG Energy Solutions announced a USD $5.5 billion investment in a battery manufacturing facility in Queen Creek, Arizona, USA. The complex will include a 27 GWh cylindrical cell manufacturing facility (USD 3.2 billion investment) and a 16 GWh lithium iron phosphate pouch cell manufacturing facility (USD 2.3 billion investment). The complex will have a total production capacity of around 43 GWh.


B.A Commentary: LG Energy Solutions is responding to proposed IRA incentives in the U.S. with an investment in a new stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America. By 2025, the cylindrical facility is expected to produce 27 GWh of 21700 cells for EVs, and the pouch LFP facility will begin mass production of 16 GWh by 2026.


Samsung SDI and GM plan to invest USD $3.8 billion in a joint venture battery manufacturing facility in the U.S. On March 3, various media reports stated that Samsung SDI and General Motors (GM) plan to establish a joint venture battery manufacturing plant in the US, with an estimated investment of USD $3.8 billion and a production capacity of 30-50 GWh.


B.A Commentary: GM has partnered with LG Energy Solutions to create Ultium Cells, a joint venture that operates three facilities with a total annual production capacity of 145 GWh. To benefit from IRA incentives, GM aims to boost its U.S. battery manufacturing capacity. In pursuit of this goal, GM is teaming up with Samsung SDI to build its fourth battery manufacturing facility in the U.S.


On March 13, NETZSCH-Feinmahltechnik GmbH in Selb, Germany, was awarded a contract in the double-digit millions following a public tender to build an anode and cathode manufacturing facility in Germany with an annual production capacity of around 6.8 GWh. This plant will produce its cathode and anode in one production line.


B.A Commentary: According to the proposed European Union Critical Raw Materials Act proposal, it is in the best interest of Europe to establish a resilient battery supply chain within its borders. Germany's recent public tender for anode and cathode manufacturing facilities is a clear indication of their commitment to creating a robust local supply chain for batteries. It is anticipated that the adoption of the Critical Raw Materials Act proposal will result in a significant increase in the upstream and midstream supply chain in Europe.


On March 27, Li-Cycle and KION Group announced a global partnership for lithium-ion battery recycling. Li-Cycle will recycle KION Group's batteries until 2030. To meet increasing demand in France, Li-Cycle will establish a new recycling facility in Harnes with an initial capacity of 10,000 tonnes of battery materials per year, expandable up to 250,000 tonnes. The investment will expand Li-Cycle's Spoke Network in Europe, with commercial operations starting by 2024.


B.A Commentary: After the implementation of the new European battery regulation, battery manufacturers are required to comply, which mandates the use of recycled materials in their manufacturing processes. In order to adhere to these regulations, battery manufacturers are forming partnerships or establishing their own recycling facilities within Europe.


On March 17, PowerCo, a Volkswagen subsidiary, began construction on a 40 GWh battery manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain. The facility will be powered entirely by wind and solar energy, making it more sustainable. It is estimated that the new facility in Spain would employ approximately 3,000 people and is scheduled to begin mass production in 2026.


B.A Commentary: Volkswagen has announced plans to create 6 Gigafactories in Europe to boost its electrification strategy, with a combined battery capacity of 240 GWh. In June 2022, the company began building its first PowerCo cell factory in Salzgitter, Germany, with a 40 GWh nameplate capacity. Its subsidiary, PowerCo, is also constructing a second battery manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain with the same capacity.


On March 13, PowerCo, a Volkswagen subsidiary, announced that it has chosen Ontario, Canada as the location for its first overseas battery manufacturing Gigafactory outside of Europe. The facility is expected to begin mass production by 2027.


B.A Commentary: As part of Volkswagen's 10-point plan, PowerCo a Volkswagen subsidiary focused on battery manufacturing,has selected Canada for its first North American plant. The Canadian government and Volkswagen signed a Momandrum of Understanding (MoU) last year to supply sustainable raw materials, which is a top priority for Volkswagen. They plan to partner with other market players to develop midstream capabilities in the country.


On March 02, Giant Energy Texas Inc and ACE Green Recycling Inc signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to form a joint venture for battery recycling. Giant Energy Texas will invest USD $3 million to establish the battery recycling facility, and ACE will provide its proprietary recycling technology. Upon completion, the facility is expected to have a recycling capacity of 1800 tons of end-of-life lithium batteries per year.


B.A Commentary: Giant Energy Texas and ACE Green Recycling Inc's possible joint venture investment is aligned with their goal of entering the battery recycling market. This move came after Giant Energy Texas' existing investments in Battery Energy Storage and Solar PV energy production. It is possible that the IRA incentive for recycled battery material production also played a role in motivating this joint venture investment.


On March 03, Mercedes-Benz started constructing its battery recycling plant in Kuppenheim, Germany. The plant is the first to be owned entirely by Mercedes-Benz and is supported by technology partner, Primobius GmbH. Initially, it will mechanically shred battery packs, with plans to later incorporate proprietary hydrometallurgy technology for recycling battery materials. When completed, the facility is expected to recover 2600 tons of battery materials annually, with a 96% recovery rate, including cobalt, nickel, and lithium, and plans to recover graphite in the future. Mechanical dismantling is scheduled to begin by December 2023.


B.A. Commentary: Upon legislation of European new battery regulation. European battery manufacturers require a mandatory percentage of recycled materials in batteries, to comply with the regulations, OEMs are developing strategic decisions to invest in recycling capacities. To meet these regulations, battery manufacturers are partnering and/or establishing their own recycling facilities within Europe. With this development, Mercedes-Benz is taking a step toward creating its own battery recycling supply chain.


B.A Editorial B.A Editorial is a monthly news article curated by the B.A Community A Plan for Resilience: EU Commission Proposes Critical Raw Materials Act

The European Commission (EU Commission) recently published its Critical Raw Materials Act proposal on 16 March 2023. This proposed legislation is focused on securing a sustainable supply of critical minerals to meet the EU's goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The EU aims to decrease its reliance on other countries apart from EU countries for sourcing and refining critical minerals.


Data Source: Link


It has been stated by the European Commission that during the period of the pandemic, Europe increased its dependency on quasi-monopolistic third-country suppliers, which resulted in shortages of critical raw materials, compromises in the quality of raw materials, and also disturbed the equilibrium of achieving the EU’s major climatic and digital objectives and goals. Meeting the projected increase in demand for critical raw materials poses a major challenge for Europe, as it heavily depends on imports from third-country suppliers, often with quasi-monopoly power. alongside the proposal for the Critical Raw Materials Act, the EU Commission released a communication that seeks to boost the EU's international coordination efforts to enable the diversification of imports and foster increased supply and partnerships. As part of this, the Commission is proposing the formation of a Critical Raw Materials Consortium that will unite consuming and resource-rich nations to promote secure and sustainable supplies of critical raw materials. The EU also aims to expand its network of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and forge strategic partnerships by investing in the value chains of critical minerals in third countries.

The EU acknowledges the importance of certain critical raw materials in realising the EU's climate neutrality goals in sectors such as healthcare, renewable energy, and defence. The officials have introduced a list of critical and strategic raw materials and formulated the framework for the EU's sustainable access to these resources. The regulations have clear milestones for domestic capacities along the strategic raw material supply chain and to diversify EU supply by 2030:

  • At least 10% of the EU's annual consumption for extraction,

  • At least 40% of the EU's annual consumption is for processing,

  • At least 15% of the EU's annual consumption is for recycling,

  • Not more than 65% of the Union's annual consumption of each strategic raw material at any relevant stage of processing from a single third country.

This proposal motivates the joint procurement of strategic raw materials by establishing a system that matches interested parties who consume these materials with authorities responsible for maintaining strategic stockpiles or goods of these resources. The system will authorize them to negotiate purchase terms collaboratively, thereby implementing the acquisition of critical raw materials for interested parties.


To get a comprehensive view of the EU's stance on critical minerals, it is necessary to consider current and future European policies such as the proposed Battery Regulation, the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, and the Cross-Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). These regulations have implications for both EU and non-EU producers, importers, and users of critical minerals

As for the potential impact of the European Commission's proposed Critical Raw Materials Act, companies involved in the extraction, processing, transformation, offtake, or trading of strategic or critical raw minerals might want to start aligning their business plans and strategies accordingly. By taking the necessary steps, battery manufacturers in Europe could avoid the risks of raw materials storage and could create a steady supply of raw materials for their production.


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: "PFAs and regulation”

Speaker: Sriram Claude Ramanoudjame, Director of Strategic Marketing at Blue Solutions co-hosted by Dr. Simon Engelke and Mariam Awara.

Session Summary: On March 18, 2023, Battery Revolution Clubhouse hosted Sriram Claude Ramanoudjame, Director of Strategic Marketing at Blue Solutions, who spoke on PFAs and regulation. Listen to the full episode here.



Company Membership Update


Deloitte and Circulor announce alliance to serve growing customer needs for supply chain visibility

Deloitte and Circulor recognise that greater visibility into complex industrial supply chains is now a business imperative. Traceability is necessary to demonstrate that products are sourced responsibly and sustainably and it is in growing demand from both customers and regulators. Read about the alliance here.


Battery Associates Updates & Events

  • FT Live Future of the Car Summit

  • European Battery Show

  • Battery Day 2023

  • Future Battery Forum Berlin

  • BatteryMBA May Cohort

FT Live Future of the Car Summit (9-11 May 2023) Achieving Efficiency, Sustainability & Connectivity in Automotive In-Person & Digital | London, Convene


The FT Future of the Car Summit is a three-day strategy-focused conference for anyone leading at the juncture of traditional automotive industry practice and technology-driven disruption. It is the only automotive summit to attract the most visionary CEOs and thinkers for an objective analysis of the industry’s toughest challenges. Speakers include CEO from Ferrari, Bentley, McLaren, Polestar, Aston Martin Lagonda, Peugeot, Renault Group, and many more. See the full agenda here.


Register here for 20% off your pass (use code BATTERY). You’ll also have a chance to meet Dr. Simon Engleke, Founder & Chair of Battery Associates who will be attending the conference.



Battery Show Europe (23-25 May 2023) Learn & explore the latest innovations in Battery and EV Technology In-Person | Stuttgart, Germany


The Battery Show is a leading meeting place for attendees to find solutions to their application needs, get a look at the latest technologies, and connect with their peers. To find out more about the show taking place 23-25 May, 2023 in Stuttgart Germany, you can access the event preview here.


Battery Associates will have a dedicated networking area at the event where we'll be delighted to meet leading battery experts and will also provide a BatteryMBA Masterclass! Register for the event here.


As a valued member we would like to offer you a 20% discount off a Conference pass when you enter the code BATA20.



Battery Day 2023 (21 September 2023)

Annual battery event for battery enthusiasts worldwide

Online


Join us on Thursday, September 21, 2023, Online annual event - Battery Day 2023. Registerhere. Battery Day 2023 will feature panels and deep dive sessions to facilitate up-to-date knowledge on different battery technologies, future chemistries, applications, and market insights from leading battery experts. 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 contenthere. If you are interested in being involved in the event, please contact info@battery.associates. Sponsoringandspeakingopportunities are available.




4th Future Battery Forum (27-28 November 2023) Accelerating Europe’s battery industry: Innovative. Sustainable. Stronger together. In-Person & Digital | ECC Berlin Staged under this motto in 2023, the management conference will again bring together decision-makers from the entire value system of battery technologies: users, battery system & cell manufacturers, and their suppliers. Last year, over 700 participants, 70 speakers, and 80 exhibitors attended in Berlin – and more than 2,500 participants joined online. More information: www.futurebattery.eu

Register here with code FBF23COOP to get 20% off your ticket! Early Bird prices end on May 02.



BatteryMBA Announcement

BatteryMBA’s eighth cohort starts on May 8, apply here and receive early access to 70+ 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 to info@battery.mba. Need-based scholarships and group discounts are available.


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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