BASF has announced their plan to improve cathode material efficiency, in order to help drive e-mobility forward. The focus will lie on the chemical makeup, form and structure, as well as the manufacturing process.
The goal of the project is to improve the real range of a middle class vehicle from around 300 km to 600 km, as well as double the battery life. They also plan to halve the size of batteries, as well as shorten the charging time to 15 minutes.
In modern electric vehicles, most rely on lithium-ion batteries. One of the most critical components of the batteries are cathode materials. At least, according to BASF, they determine the efficiency, reliability, costs, life duration and size of the battery. “Cathode active materials by BASF make battery cells more powerful, more reliable and more affordable. They offer the biggest opportunities for improved performance at lower costs. This is the area where chemistry has the biggest lever for innovation and value generation,” said Martin Brudermüller, CTO of BASF.
The BASF battery material lineup includes nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide (NCA) and nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide (NCM). They also leverage their academic network for electrochemistry and batteries, to develop new and improved materials. The company is cooperating with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the Batteries and Electrochemistry Laboratory. Together with academic institutions and private partners, BASF is running several research initiatives for battery technology, some of which are funded by the ministry for education and research, as well as the ministry for economy and technology.
In North America, BASF has also been working on driving key technologies for e-mobility forward. The US company Sion Power announced in February, that they planned to begin producing licerion batteries with lithium metal anodes at the end of this year in cooperation with BASF. The batteries will be used for EVs and drones. The announced joint venture with Toda America was also recently founded. BASF Toda America (BTA) will produce and sell NCM and NCA cathode materials.
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