Leclanché presents new pouch cell for electric utility vehicles

Leclanché has presented a new 65 Ah pouch cell for purely electric or hybrid buses and trucks, which should provide higher ranges and longer operating times than the company’s current 60 Ah cell. It is manufactured at the German site in Willstätt.

According to the manufacturer, the new Leclanché GL 65 Ah G/NMC (graphite/nickel manganese cobalt oxide) cells deliver ten per cent more energy and feature a ten per cent increase in energy density (up to 515 Wh/l) compared to the company’s 60 Ah cell, with the same size and weight. According to an accompanying press release, the 65 Ah pouch cell will be available as early as the first quarter of 2021. Upon request, the manufacturer confirms that production is already underway.

The materials used for the lithium-ion pouch cell enable “a longer service life, high cycle stability and fast charging capability”, the Swiss company informs. An 80% charge is feasible in less than 30 minutes. The new cell is said to be particularly suitable for heavy-duty applications such as buses and trucks due to its high volume density combined with its high cycle stability.

“Our new GL 65 energy cell addresses the need for increased operating range and reduced charging time, without any increase in size or weight,” expressed Dr Hilmi Buqa, Vice-President Cell R&D at Leclanché. “This cell uses state of the art electrode designs forming the foundation of our upcoming automotive cell. Together with our 60 Ah G/NMC cell, we can now provide a broader range of solutions to meet our clients’ needs and to help them to continue innovating.”

Both the 65 Ah and 60 Ah cells are manufactured in Willstätt near the German-French border. A proprietary production process is used: “The electrodes are manufactured in a highly sophisticated water-based process – rather than by using organic solvents – resulting in significantly reduced environmental impact and a lower carbon footprint,” explains the Swiss company.

Based on the 60 Ah cells, Leclanché introduced a battery system called INT-39 Energy just a few weeks ago, which is optimised for the operation of new and retrofitted e-commercial vehicles. The Swiss manufacturer specifies an energy capacity of 39.4 kWh per battery pack. A maximum of eight packs can be combined, which corresponds to a total capacity of up to 315 kWh. The battery is installed where the tanks for fossil fuels normally sit.

Last summer, the battery manufacturer, which is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, announced a partnership with the Eneris Group, which operates from Poland, and at the same time repositioned itself strategically. Among other things, the partners launched two production joint ventures, one in Germany for the production of cells and the other in Switzerland and Poland for the assembly of modules. A third was also considered for France in the summer. Basically, Leclanché is organised into three business units: stationary storage solutions, electric transport solutions and dedicated battery systems.

With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.



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