Germany produces electric cars, but not the batteries that power them. To change this, the government and industry have stepped up their research and development activities in recent years. This effort is now bearing fruit: the development of and experience gained with the "Research platform for the industrial production of lithium-ion cells (FPL)", such as for use in batteries in mobile and industrial applications, has significantly reduced the technological barriers hindering the commercial production of battery cells in this country.
In early 2015, just four months after commissioning, the process steps were qualified and the reference process was defined as part of the first industrial project. Since then, several hundred kilos of active material have been processed, many kilometres of electrode band have been produced and over one thousand electrode coils (jelly rolls) have been manufactured. The 22-Ah capacity of the ZSW PHEV-1 cells is equal to that of commercial cells from Asia. This experience will serve the industry in upcoming projects, for example when adapting processes to advanced (third generation) materials and further optimising manufacturing processes.
Together with the pre-existing facilities, the ZSW Laboratory for Battery Technology (eLab) offers a globally unique infrastructure across 10,000 square metres that, in addition to providing all development stages ranging from the research of new active materials to the production of complete cells, also makes it possible to investigate the performance of the batteries and their behaviour in the event of user failure and accident situations.
Learn more about our ongoing battery research here.
eLab 'tour': eLab image brochure