Quotes from the experts at the 2011 SAE Vehicle Batteries Summit

  • 16-Nov-2011 04:31 EST
Liang Nie Hangzhou EV.JPG

Liang Nie of China’s State Grid Corp. addressed the issues of battery swapping, smart charging, and EV service at the SAE International Vehicle Battery Summit. (Lindsay Brooke)

Blog from the 2011 SAE International Batteries and E-Motors Summit

SHANGHAI, CHINA, Wednesday, midday, Nov. 16—The industry’s top technical experts involved with electrified-vehicle battery development have spoken. Their two-day conference now shifts to the E-motors and power control focus for Wednesday and Thursday of this SAE vehicle electrification event here in Shanghai. But after listening to 23 interesting presentations since Monday, I’m not finished blogging about the Batteries Summit.

So for the sake of expediency, I thought it might be useful to pull what I believe are significant and frank quotes and comments out of my Reporter’s Notebook and offer them here.

From Monday, Nov. 14:

“If the goal is to reduce CO2 and global warming, and to increase energy security within 10 years, then we shouldn’t be talking about EVs. And if all you want is a ‘green’ image, a few hundred to a few thousand electric vehicles and some PR is all you need.”—Dr. Menahem Anderman, President of Advanced Automotive Batteries and session chair of the 2011 SAE Vehicle Batteries Summit.

“How long before the EV industry can be profitable and self-sustaining, along the lines of conventional automotive development cycles? I suggest it won’t happen within the next 10 years. If there is a mass market for EVs in North America and Europe during that time, then it’s in niche vehicles.”—Dr. Anderman

“I predict next year, in 2012, Toyota will sell at least two Prius PHEVs for every Chevrolet Volt General Motors sells, globally.”—Dr. Anderman

“The internal-combustion engine is not dead, not even close. In 2030, we forecast three-quarters of the passenger car fleet will have ICEs. But two-thirds of those will also have e-motors as part of their powertrains.”—Dr. Axel Krieger, Partner, McKinsey & Co.

“Regarding the raw materials shift that will take place in this industry, demand for copper, neodymium, and lithium will be 200 times today’s demand [by 2030].”—Dr. Krieger

“A lithium-titanate anode will be a strong candidate for automotive batteries in the future.”—Sachiya Inagaki, Senior Researcher, Yano Research Institute.

“Moving away from cobalt to use of more manganese and lithium is a market trend that will help reduce battery costs. Lithium-manganese oxide (LMO) and lithium-iron phosphate (LFP), with their low price, high safety, and long cycle life, are well suited for large-scale battery production.”—Tom Van Billinghen, Global Marketing Director, Umicore.

“Compared with conventional powertrains, few if anyone has real-world use and failure-mode information on EV batteries, which is why AVL established its Design Verification and Validation Plan.”—Dr. Uwe Wiedemann, Product Manager, Global Battery Team, AVL List GmbH.

“Five to 10 percent of EV battery failures in the field are related to cells; 90 to 95% are on a system level.”—Dr. Wiedemann.

From Tuesday, Nov. 15:

“Nickel metal-hydride will retain 70% market share in automotive batteries through 2015, but beyond that depends on how well Toyota and Honda can retain stable pricing and rare-earth availability.”—Dr. Anderman

“You must assume a thermal runaway will occur at the cell level.”—Dr. Anderman

“Interest in physical-based modeling is being accelerated and driven by demand for improved control algorithms.”—Dr. Robert Spotnitz, President, Battery Design LLC.

“Our nickel-zinc battery is aimed at micro-hybrid systems. We’re currently sampling a 40 A·h product to global OEMs. It demonstrates voltage stability, dynamic charge acceptance, and good service life.”—Dr. Jeff Phillips, CTO, PowerGenix.

“Solid-state circuit breaker technology is improving and offers a real alternative to relays for the future.”—Patrick Leteinturier, Senior Principal, Automotive Systems, Infineon Technologies.

“Safety ‘incidents’ [involving Li-ion batteries] take place on the order of one in 1 million cells, even for the most experienced manufacturers.”—Dr. Jia Hongtao, Director of Tianjin Lishen Battery Co., China.

“We need to improve battery yield rates in manufacturing and reduce the cost of cell separators, now $1.80 per square meter, and the cost of other materials.”—Dr. Hongtao.

“By 2015, I don’t expect any OEM will be using 18650-series cells in an EV.”—Dr. Anderman

“Determining battery power at the end of life is the key to battery design, and it’s where we begin.”—Jeff Kessen, Director of Automotive Marketing, A123 Systems.

“Communications is the biggest challenge in battery development today, due to the harsh environment the battery lives in.”—Bob Shoemaker, Systems Engineering Manager, Texas Instruments.

“What is ‘fast charging?' There are many definitions. To some it’s 30 minutes. The California Air Resources Board says it is 10 minutes, with 50-70% of energy returned to the battery. Ten minutes’ charging for a PHEV requires 40-50 kW, and five minutes requires 100 kW. And EVs need a whole lot more power than PHEVs.”—Dr. Andrew Burke, Researcher, University of California-Davis.

“We think battery-swapping stations will expand EV use to nationwide. But battery specific energy and service life will have to be increased to make it work.”—Liang Nie, General Manager, City of Hangzhou EV Service Co., and China State Grid Battery Lab.

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