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High Density Batteries for e-Mobility and Industrial Automated Guided Vehicles.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HDBAT (High Density Batteries for e-Mobility and Industrial Automated Guided Vehicles.)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-05-31

As electrification of personal and commercial vehicles has been driving the development of Li-ion cells for non-consumer electrics, it has exerted huge pressure on both price and energy density requirements. However there are several markets which, comparably to the automotive industry, are niches. They have similar requirements in terms of pricing and energy density but at a different level and with different priorities. These markets, namely automated guided vehicles, marine, off highway vehicles, specialized road vehicles, and rail, have also specific requirements in terms of sizing and certifications which are not necessarily met by the large South-East Asian manufacturers. This trend towards electrification, or hybridization, will considerably reduce GHG emissions in cities and harbors, but also modernize transportation and logistics.
Leclanché is focusing on these markets, starting in Europe and expending to North-America and Asia. To respond to the different market needs, we manufacture two types of cells in our factory line in Germany: high power (HP) and high energy (HE) cells. Through the HD-BAT phase 1 SME Instrument project, we undertook a feasibility study for several improvements on both cell technology to decrease price and weight per energy unit. We considered two aspects. The first one was chemistry, where the integration of upcoming active materials into our water-based electrode processing has been studied. The second one concerns the engineering work necessary to manufacture a novel, denser design and also accepts thinner non-active components into our cells.
We found out that most planned innovations were possible on time and budget. We also took into consideration health factors, meaning that new production methods will be implemented in phase 2 to accept innovative materials. Expected impact of one of the engineering innovation had to be reduced so as the opportunity cost was not worth the added benefit.
The end result is that the innovations can be secured in three phases: 2019, 2021, and 2023, enabling a total reduction of cost of 32% of our HE cell and HP cells, and an increase in energy density by 27% for our HE cell and 38% for our high power cell.
The market study showed that we will have to increase our maximum production capacity by 30% to meet the European market demand by 2024, enabling the creation of 71 new jobs and reduce the need of fuel oil by 30 million tons. This high demand will be enabled by the HDBAT innovations.
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