Battrion, a spin-off by ETH Zurich, is developing a high-performance battery that made our news last year. The start-up now announced the opening of a small-scale production line in Switzerland able to make electrodes for 20 MWh fast-charging Li-ion battery cells a year.
Battrion has been moving fast since introducing the prototype cells in July 2020 together with the Hilti technology group. The new cells rely on Battrion’s ‘Aligned Graphite Technology’- basically an improved microstructure on the anode and manufacturing technology.
Battrion now established its first production line in Dübendorf, Zurich canton, to make electrodes using the above technology for its own growth. It cost the company three million Swiss Francs, about 2.7 million euros.
The technology works with various graphite materials from established manufacturers, Battrion co-founder Martin Ebner told electrive. “This reduces the technical and economic risk and allows gaining a competitive advantage in the currently strongly growing battery market.” Ebner, who also serves as CTO, called the successful production of electrodes in the new factory “key” to proving the technology can be made at a “relevant scale” and may become widespread.
“This is great news for our automotive customers,” he added without naming any. Battrion claims its aligned graphites could reduce charging times “dramatically” and charge 400 km of range in 15 instead of 25 minutes, “because full charging power can be applied three times longer before it is reduced.” The company claims lower heat generation for its batteries.
“The technology allows for the use of lower-cost, less processed flake graphite, an environmentally friendly substitute that avoids a wasteful process step called ‘graphite spheronization'” Dr Max Kory, co-founder and COO of Battrion, adds. He believes using less processed flake graphite could achieve a CO2 reduction of around 10’000t per GWh battery capacity.
Battrion will ramp up to GWh capability next but has not provided a timeline. The company says it is working on implementing technology with “leading cell manufacturers and OEMs in different markets,” but again would not go into detail. When announcing the electrodes back in July, the Battrion CTP had made similar claims. “It is possible to implement Aligned Graphite Technology in series production together with established battery manufacturers in about two years,” Ebner said at the time.