The FiveVB consortium comprises industrial partners covering the major components for an industrial cell production in Europe. The current Li-ion battery market is clearly localized in Asia. The Asian Li-ion battery industry is fully integrated from raw materials to cell manufacturing.

FiveVB will bring the European industry to a better position on the world market.

Main resources for natural graphite (Li-Ion grade) are located in China (>90%). It is expected that the refined natural graphite will be a scarce and strategic raw material and the cost will increase in the next years. Through the development of battery technologies, which use lower cost materials with a more stable supply chain, FiveVB will demonstrate technology innovation for overcoming risks related to critical materials supply.

The consortium is constituted by several industrial partners that allow the integration of the whole manufacturing chain of Li-Ion Battery: Umicore, 3M and Arkema for raw materials, ZSW/Bosch for cell manufacturing and BMW for the car implementation.

3M will provide the know-how for an advanced anode for the high-energy cell and will therefore contribute to a major corner stone of a European based next generation Lithium ion battery cell chemistry. In order to strengthen the European industrial position in this field, 3M has built up a development centre for battery materials in Europe over the last years including hiring new staff specifically for this task.

Umicore will be in charge of the identification, development and supply of suitable cathode materials for the project. In addition, Umicore will also be responsible for cathode material up scaling in order to provide the quantities needed for pilot scale cell evaluation and manufacturing.

Knowing the current limitation of LiPF6 , the development of new lithium salts is required to improve safety and allow for higher operating voltages. Indeed, Arkema is one of the European leaders on chemistry market. Moreover, thanks to its experience of 55 years in fluorochemicals, Arkema has developed a family of electrolyte salt for 5V battery technology.

Bosch’s contribution will enable the development and manufacturing of high-energy Lithium ion battery cells in Europe for the application in vehicles. This contribution will advance the know-how in battery development in Europe and ensure access to a partner capable of manufacturing to automotive standards. Whereas ZSW is responsible for developing and integrating the chemistry at lab and pilot level, Bosch will be responsible for establishing and evaluating a new approach to cooperation in the development process. This is intended to speed up the design process itself. Bosch will also assess the handling of materials from the perspective of future demands on manufacturing facilities. This will contribute a major corner stone of a European based next generation Lithium ion battery cell chemistry.

BMW has huge expertise to introduce Li-Ion modules and systems into an electric vehicle. Furthermore, the FiveVB consortium will define requirements for a 5V-battery and the modules and the Li-Ion cell itself (safety, performance, capacity, energy, costs, life time, end of life criteria, recyclability, environment aspects) under the guidance of the involved OEM.

Present and future research activities at ZSW strongly benefit from the highly efficient network of battery experts both from institutes and industrial partners along the whole value chain. This will help to increase the overall European scientific knowledge in a highly competitive worldwide battery community and strengthen the position of Europe against the Asian market.

Moreover, the results from lifetime tests will allow VUB and ViF to develop dedicated battery models and state functions, which further will be used to assist the European battery system designers, whereby very limited knowledge is available about such techniques.

FiveVB will initiate the launch of new production in Europe.

The development of new fluorinated products like lithium salts is consistent with the diversification program of the plants Arkema has in Europe. The consequence of this ambition will be the creation of a new pole of production in France where Arkema will produce the electrolytes that are developed for the high voltage market and for the battery safety improvement.

3M has multiple production sites all over Europe and the successful termination of the suggested project will enable 3M to produce world leading anode material in Europe as the base of a European value chain.

Umicore, as a global material-technology-group focuses on application areas where its expertise in material science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. To maintain the leadership as a supplier of cathode materials for Li-ion batteries, Umicore continuously evaluates and assesses opportunities to expand or install new production capacities according to market demand. Umicore has manufacturing, application technology and research centers located in all relevant markets and is committed to support the growing European battery industry and with that the ambition of the European car industry to become the leading global player for e-mobility.

Cathode materials, determine to a large extent the performance, safety, reliability and costs of modern Li-ion batteries. Today’s xEV’s rely on the performance of Li-ion batteries made with the first generation of NMC cathode materials that offer a good compromise in terms of safety, performance and costs but fall short to meet future targets. Widespread application of electric cars requires significant improvements in terms of charge capacity, cycle life, usable voltage window and power performance over a wider state-of-charge and temperature window. At the same time a reduction of cost across all cell components is mandatory to improve the Euro/kWh ratio.

Arkema will develop two different electrolytes based on new fluorinated lithium salts:

  • The first one will increase the energy density and the safety of Li-ion battery based on Umicore NMC and 3M Silicon technologies.
  • The second one will enable and increase the stability at high voltage for the future 5V battery technology.

The stability of the two new lithium salts is an important point for the targeted application: battery mass markets, but also for the recycling of Li-ion battery. Indeed the world lithium resources are clearly not localized in Europe. So, the recycling of Li-ion batteries can become strategic to keep a European lithium resource. The design of new Arkema lithium salts allows simplifying the recycling process in terms of safety.

When matched with a suitable cathode, the anode material developed by 3M increases significantly the energy density of Li-Ion battery cells, hence increases the range of an electric car at a reduced weight. Using smart combinations of cost efficient materials without precious metals, the 3M-anode material can be produced at low costs and without any dependencies on precious metal supplies.

Bosch’s contribution will enable the development and manufacture of a high-energy Li-ion battery cell in Europe for the application in vehicles. Bosch has access to a global network with many years of experience. This contribution will advance the know-how in battery development in Europe and ensure access to a partner capable of manufacturing to automotive standards. Whereas ZSW is responsible for developing the electrode system itself, Bosch will be responsible for establishing and evaluating a new approach to cooperation in the development process. This is intended to speed up the design process itself. Bosch will also assess the challenges associated with handling of innovative materials from the perspective of future demands on manufacturing facilities. This will contribute a major corner stone of a European based next generation Li- ion battery cell chemistry.
VUB will apply the generated knowledge in the framework of the FiveVB project in various domains such as in electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, hybrid trucks, stationary applications and next generation rechargeable energy storage systems.
Hereby the dedicated models developed in the framework of this project will allow VUB to further assist the European car manufacturing industry, where such models are key enablers in the optimization of battery management systems. In addition the knowledge regarding changes of material and battery parameters during usage on short– and long term, will be of highly important value for the material suppliers in the project, as well as for European material developers in general. The developed SoH algorithms and models will allow them to fasten the development process, to reduce time-to-market, to optimize their battery material/design and to predict the battery lifetime accurately.
Cost and Range are considered as the two major obstacles for a wider acceptance of battery systems in electric vehicles compared to ICE vehicles on the market. With an improvement of both the energy density as well as the cost situation of the current Li-ion cell technology, AVL will strengthen its position as a battery system developer. In addition, the market acceptance of battery-powered electric vehicles can be significantly enhanced.

The proposed solutions of Five VB will demonstrate industrial scale prototypes improving cell level energy density by at least 20% and cost by 20% with respect to the best cell chemistry currently on the market.

By elaborating an adequate system concept for the advanced FiveVB battery cell AVL and the research partners ViF and VUB expect that it is made sure that the improvements achieved in the project are successfully transferred from cell- to system level by taking into account the requirements for thermal- and electrical management as well as safety aspects.