Jul 28, 2021 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- Automakers and battery manufacturers are racing to develop battery technology to power the next generation of vehicles and a greener future. The battery in question needs to reinforce the body structure and extend the driving range. Engineers refer to it as a structural battery that holds the promise of lighter weight and greater efficiency. The latest structural batteries are being developed by startups and legacy automakers alike, including the EV pioneer Tesla Inc /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +3.02% ,General Motors Co /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +0.54% , battery makers such as China's BYD Co Ltd and CATL.
Geely Automobile Limited's /zigman2/quotes/205261343/delayed GELYF +6.04% Volvo Cars in late June revealed a new structural battery design it is developing with Swedish battery maker Northvolt that Volvo said should deliver 600 miles or more of travel between charges. To compare, Tesla Inc's /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +3.02% Model Y can deliver 326 miles.
Structural battery technology- still in its infancy
Manufacturers have not even settled on a standard approach. Our Next Energy, a one year-old startup is developing a dual battery whose design contains structural cell-to-pack with a second high-energy pack capable of recharching the first pack, which should double the vehicle's range. Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and chief executive of the Novi, Michigan-based company is aiming to reinvent the battery completely,
GM's approach revolves around the Ultium battery that begins with the basic building blocks, thin pouch-type battery cells, which are bundled into modules, then assembled into large packs. Ultium battery packs will be installed in the upcoming electric Hummer's chassis, stiffening its body, improving the quality of the ride and handling as it reduces vibration and harshness. At least this is how Josh Tavel, GM’s executive chief engineer for battery electric trucks, advertises it.
China's BYD and CATL have developed advanced batteries whose cells are assembled directly into large packs, eliminating the middle step. Both use lithium iron phosphate which is less expensive and less prone to fire hazards, while being friendlier to the environment compared to commonly used cobalt and nickel. However, LFP cells do not store as much energy compared to their nickel cobalt manganese or nickel cobalt aluminum counterparts. Due to a lower driving range they provide, a vehicle needs a larger and therefore, heavier, pack of lithium iron batteries to match the output provided by cobalt and nickel-based batteries.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a new type of structural battery last September during Tesla's Battery Day. The revolutionary battery is expected initially to power the Model Y with hundreds of large-format cylindrical cells bonded together with structural adhesive, then sandwiched between two metal sheets. Lithium ion batteries both reduce the weight and address the range range gap but automakers haven't gotten there yet to exploit these benefits.
With the world's first electric pickup truck just around the corner, adding solar panels to tonneau covers seemed like the logical next step one that Worksport Ltd /zigman2/quotes/200413469/composite WKSP +1.19% took first.
The eagerly anticipated Atlis XT electric pickup by Hercules Electric Mobility Inc. in partnership with Nissan Motors /zigman2/quotes/206659157/delayed NSANF +0.88% and Alpha Electric Pickup built by Atlis Motor Vehicles will be equipped with the TerraVis
Battery-development is key
An all-electric future is no longer questionable. However, battery developments will ultimately decide on the pace of the EV revolution.
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