Posted on 16 June 2014

7th Developer Forum on Rechargeable Battery

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For three days the tiny city Aschaffenburg was the capital of the battery world. In recent years, the rechargeable battery developer forum with trade show organised by batteryuniversity.eu has developed into one of the most important European sector meetings for all rechargeable battery manufacturers and their suppliers and customers.

By Marisa Robles Consée, Corresponding Editor; Bodo’s Power Systems

The three-day trade event again kicked off with two half-day intensive seminars on the topics of Battery Packs developed properly and Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery Technologies/Battery Management Systems on 25th March, 2014. Offered for the first time in 2013, each year around 120 participants made use of the opportunity to have their knowledge updated by batteryuniversity.eu experts in just a few hours in the run-up to the developer forum, and once again this year there were a large number of reserved places, as Dr. Jochen Mähliß, head of batteryuniversity.eu, emphasizes: “The overwhelmingly positive resonance to this additional offering reflects the incredible dynamism with which the sector is currently moving forward. Given the rapid technological progress in the area of mobile power supplies and the many standards and regulations, etc. which are sometimes difficult to grasp even for insiders, it is understandably becoming increasingly difficult for companies and their employees to maintain an overview. We are attempting to counteract this with our intensive seminars which save time and costs for participants. We are therefore very pleased that this training offering receives so much interest”.

The 7th developer forum on rechargeable battery attracted more than 500 attendees

More than 500 participants attended this year’s expert forum, which took place on March 26th and 27th. Around 30 top-class experts informed about the latest trends from research and development. This year, Kurt Sigl, President of the Federal Association for eMobility (BEM) and Dr. Reiner Korthauer, Director of the Trade Association for Transformers and Power Supplies at the Central Electrotechnology and Electronics Industry Association (ZVEI) had been engaged as key speakers; they opened both morning programs with guest lectures on the topics of eMobiliy and Stationary Energy Storage. Further key aspects this year were formed by the presentation of current and coming cell generations, the latest battery packaging methods, innovative charging and safety concepts and also problem-solving approaches for OEMs with regard to rechargeable battery storage, fire warning technology, the REACH regulation and much more. The conference was rounded off by two parallel held sessions on the topics of Electric Mobility and Energy Storage & Security. As the event is getting more and more international, for the first time the expert lectures held in German had been translated simultaneously into English.

The developer forum was accompanied by a trade show with 38 companies that presented their products, solution approaches and services on a total of 2000 m2 of exhibition space again this year. “The combination of lectures and the trade fair has really proven itself in recent years, not least because it means that many contributors are present on both event days and are thus available longer to answer any individual questions forum participants may have. One of the main reasons for the sustained success of this developer forum on rechargeable battery technology is certainly that battery developers and users have a rare chance of a comprehensive expert discussion with lecturers and experts from leading manufacturers and scientific institutions, an opportunity which is made active use of between and after the lectures within the context of the trade fair”, states Dr. Mähliß.

Market development

Market development

Looking into the future makes Sven Bauer really happy. The CEO of BMZ is convinced that the market is growing continuously and stable. Even more: “If the plans of the German government will become true, there will be a shortage of cells”, he predicts. The German Federal Government is looking to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2020. The aim is to speed up research and development in battery powered electric vehicles and their market preparation and introduction in Germany. However, the developments not only in Germany are on a good way. To prepare for the EV market, researchers and battery manufacturers have invested significant resources to develop better battery technologies. At least, the battery will determine the success of the EV, and until improvements are achieved in terms of higher specific energy, longer service life and lower cost, the electric powertrain may be limited to a niche market.

Lithium ion markets

In Germany lithium ion batteries are being utilized more than one hundred million times a day, in cell phones and laptops, in electric toothbrushes, cordless screwdrivers and lawnmowers, pedelecs and countless more applications. The term “Li-ion” has long been a strong argument for buying. However, for competitive reasons it is immensely important for the battery industry to develop even more powerful, even smaller and safer batteries. Sven Bauer expects that the Li-ion cell share will increase about 31% from 2010 (38%) to 2015 (69%). This development will replace NiCd at the mid-low price sector (1.1Ah to 1.3Ah). Despite this, the future Li-ion packs will achieve a growth of almost 18000 Mio. USD in 2017.

But on the same time the battery manufacturers have to face a severe decline of price. Sven Bauer is talking about a price fall of 60% from 2010 to 2020. According to the market researchers Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the largest decrease in battery prices is expected to occur between now and 2020 with more gradual decline thereafter. A battery for the electric powertrain currently costs between 1000 and 1200 USD/kWh. BCG claims that the price of Li-ion will fall to 750 USD/kWh within the next decade. The market researchers point out that the cost of Li-ion can be reduced to 400 USD/kWh in high volume.

eTaxi driver

A new minimalism: Paul Leibhold from Vispiron presented a public transportation network with operational uses as eTaxi, eCarsharing, eTourism and eWheelchair-Taxi. The idea was to offer an EV with zero emissions and very high performance. With 450 kg plus 100 kg battery, the car is really light-weighted. Prof. Peter Neumann took over the design of this innovative vehicle. Important for him was to avoid all unnecessary details of a typical car. With a length of 3.50 m, with seats for driver and two passengers and luggage room for two to four suitcases it may remind more of a rickshaw than of a typical EV. However, the car will have an unlimited range thanks to a manual battery change system. “It is a totally new eTaxi concept”, Paul Leibhold said and continued his explanation: “Weighing only 550 kg it is energy efficient, resourceful and environmentally friendly, providing a lot of driving enjoyment for people and efficient goods transportation in the city.”

The new car concept of Vispiron, presented by Prof. Peter Naumann and Paul Leibold

The project Adaptive City Mobility (ACM) which is founded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with about 6 Mio. Euro is a joint project of Batterie Montage Zentrum (BMZ), Fraunhofer ESK, Roding Automobile, Heinzmann und Vispiron. By 2015, a network for the intelligent City eFleet with multimode user options is scheduled. The real-time data will serve as a base for innovative business models.

 

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