A lifetime of 4000 cycles at 80 % DOD and an energy density of 250 Wh/kg is a target for automotive batteries. Such materials have a high chance to be up-scaled and commercialized near-term. Only then, cell development efforts can be translated from pilot to mass production, a prerequisite for qualification in the automotive industry.
We will start with state of the art cells and will develop two improved generations of NMC materials and cells towards high performance, high stability and cycleability.
A deep understanding of ageing phenomena and degradation mechanisms can help to identify critical parameters that affect lifetime battery performance. This identification helps effectively improving materials, system and the development of materials selection criteria. However, ageing and degradation mechanisms have multiple reasons and are complex. We propose a realistic approach with a combined and well organised Consortium effort towards the development of robust testing methodology which will be improved in several steps. Combined accelerated, real tests, real field data, post-mortem, modelling and validation will provide a thorough understanding of ageing and degradation processes.
Battery cost is a major barrier to the EV market. Second life uses can reduce battery costs. We will analyse the potentiality of reusing and recycling batteries for providing economic viable project outputs.
The Batteries2020 project takes several steps to increase lifetime and energy density of large format lithium ion batteries towards these goals. Our approach is based on three parallel strategies:
- highly focused materials development
- understanding ageing and degradation phenomena
- routes to reduce battery cost
We will improve cathode materials based on nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) oxides.
Low-cost lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles
The high cost of batteries poses a major barrier to wider adoption of electric cars. An EU-funded project took several steps to increase lifetime and energy density of lithium-ion batteries, while also enhancing safety, cost and performance.
Electric vehicles play an important role in EU plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants from road transport. To become more competitive, manufacturing costs of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and the cost per kilowatt-hours need to be drastically reduced.
The EU-funded project BATTERIES2020 (BATTERIES2020: Towards realistic European competitive automotive batteries) pointed to three approaches for increasing performance and lifetime, and reducing total cost of ownership of batteries. Researchers’ focus was on developing high-performance durable cells, reliable lifetime prediction tools, as well as further understanding battery ageing and degradation phenomena.
Researchers used improved cathode materials based on nickel/manganese/cobalt oxides that offer a good compromise between safety, cost and performance. Automotive cells based on this material can reach energy densities in the range of 160 to 180 Wh/kg BoL (beginning of life) and are able to perform over 3 000 cycles at 80 % depth of discharge (DOD). Special emphasis was also placed on the development of a roadmap based on materials with a fair chance for commercialisation.
Thorough understanding of ageing phenomena and degradation mechanisms can help to identify critical parameters, which affect battery lifetime performance. Combining accelerated tests, real field data, post-mortem analysis, modelling and validation, researchers took a more informed decision on electrode materials selection. In addition to using materials with high energy density, the team modified additives, components, and interfaces, which had all been identified as major causes of degradation.
Battery cost needs to be reduced by at least 50 % for electric vehicles to be cost competitive against conventional vehicles. Researchers identified a promising route to potentially reducing the total cost of ownership, by reusing them in second life applications, especially in the renewable energy field.
BATTERIES2020 aimed to facilitate the massive adoption of electric vehicles in Europe by overcoming the main issues related to lithium-ion batteries, namely their cost. Project approaches will boost electric car use for urban mobility by providing long-range high-power and longer-life batteries. This should also facilitate the transition to a low-carbon European economy.