Varta has announced larger lithium-ion round cells for battery electric vehicles. These cells are said to go beyond the 21700 format and, unlike the V4Drive cells shown so far, are also suitable as a sole traction battery. However, the focus remains on performance vehicles.
The round cell V4Drive in 21700 format (2.1 cm diameter, 7 cm height) presented in April is stated by Varta to be a ‘booster’ battery. The fast-charging cell is not intended to be used as a sole traction battery, but as a booster in premium and sports vehicles or as a storage device for recuperation energy in hybrid vehicles.
As Varta AG announced at its first Capital Markets Day, the V4Drive technology is now to be transferred to even larger cell formats, which can then also be used as a traction battery. The aim is to power BEVs while offering high ranges and additional power for dynamic driving, Varta said in the statement.
“An electrical car powered by V4Drive cells will be able to cover large distances and at the same time offer more dynamic driving – and it can be charged much faster than it is possible today,” said Varta CEO Herbert Schein. “Today’s energy batteries provide automotive engineers the ability to build cars offering a long driving range. V4Drive will offer additional performance qualities on top.”
Schein did not give further details, such as which larger format Varta wants to go for and what values are to be achieved in key data such as energy density, cycle stability or charging time. However, he expressed his conviction “that our round-cell formats are excellent alternatives for building battery electric vehicles in the performance sector due to their unique features.”
Pilot production of the V4Drive cells in the 21700 format will start at the end of this year, with mass production scheduled to begin two years later. Production capacity is expected to be at least 2 GWh. The extent to which the company will enter V4Drive cell production will be decided depending on customer demand, according to Schein. An order from Porsche has already been received.
According to CTO Rainer Hald, there are synergies in the production of larger round cells with the production of the smaller lithium-ion round cells that Varta sells as ‘CoinPower’. “Our technologies build on each other: We have transferred the innovative foil seal design of the hearing aid batteries – where we have become market leaders – to CoinPower and combined it with further innovations,” says Hald. “We are now doing the same with V4Drive: We are transferring CoinPower’s know-how to V4Drive and adding further innovations.”
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