Prices at the fuel pumps started to spike in recent weeks is driving consumer interest in electric cars. In the case of petrol, the price has climbed a phenomenal 50 per cent in the past 14 months. Demand for electric vehicles is ramping up across the world amid expectations petrol prices will reach record levels in the future months and coming years.
The volume of enquiries for both new and used EVs has reached record levels. Commentators have said that some good could come of that pain, including greater energy independence and a faster path to net zero emissions.
In other Lithium-ion battery news, Elon Musk has recently opened Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory. Elon Musk presented the keys to the first Model Y electric cars off the production line, and declared that scale was the key to complete the switch from a fossil fuel economy to a sustainable energy future. “Every vehicle that we make is another step in the direction of a sustainable energy future,” Musk said at the opening.
The Gigafactory opening was attended by German chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said it was a crucial day for the transition to electric mobility in Germany, where 14 per cent of new car sales are already electric. The Giga factory is situated in the state of Brandenburg, Germany.
A company that is in a prime position to benefit from this latest oil price movements and increased European EV market, is an Australian company that is in the process of establishing a 10,000 tpa battery materials plant in the nearby state of Saxony, Germany.
This Company recently announced its game changing break through technology of incorporating high capacity silicon in lithium-ion batteries. The Company announced in late 2021 that it had achieved a 30% higher energy battery with improved cyclability or battery life. Higher density batteries result in smaller and lighter batteries and substantially less greenhouse gases. The Company is in the race to get their patented technology to market with recent land purchases, commencement of a pilot plant and progress on a pre-feasibility study for a 10,000 tpa plant in Saxony, Germany.
The lithium-ion battery industry has recognised that the required step change to increase lithium-ion battery energy density and reduced costs is to introduce silicon in battery anodes, as silicon has ~ ten times the energy retention capacity compared to graphite. Silicon metal has been identified as the most promising anode material for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. However, until now silicon was unable to be used in commercial lithium-ion batteries due to two critical drawbacks. Firstly, silicon particles expand by up to 300% in volume during battery charge, causing particle swelling, fracturing and ultimately battery failure. The second challenge is that silicon deactivates a high percentage of the lithium ions in a battery. Lithium ions are rendered in-active by the silicon, immediately reducing battery performance and life. The industry has been in a race to crack the silicon barrier.
To achieve its breakthrough, Altech successfully combined silicon particles that had been treated with its innovative proprietary technology, with regular battery grade graphite to produce a lithium-ion battery electrode containing a composite graphite / silicon anode. When energised, these materials held 30% more capacity compared to a conventional graphite only anode material.
Altech’s potentially game changing technology has demonstrated that silicon particles can be modified to resolve the capacity fading caused by both the swelling and first-cycle-loss capacity problems. After almost 12 months of extensive research, development and trials at its laboratory in Perth, Western Australia, the Altech Research & Development team headed by Dr Jingyuan Liu has finally cracked the silicon problem.
The Altech lithium-ion battery anode material averaged energy retention capacity of ~430 mAh/g, compared to a normal lithium-ion battery anode at around 330 mAh/g, being 30% higher. Importantly, the Altech batteries demonstrated good stability and cycling performance.
To see Lithium Ion Battery Update report https://youtu.be/IwI1CE8vM5w
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