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After one year of design and development, Slovakia-based company InoBat Auto recently unveiled its Gen1 lithium battery, which is reportedly the first electric vehicle (EV) battery created with both artificial intelligence (AI) and high-throughput technology.
InoBat developed its electric vehicle battery production method to make high-quality EV battery customization more rapid and efficient than conventional methods. The Gen1 battery expands vehicle ranges by nearly 20%.
InoBat’s electric vehicles battery production method is pioneering for its use of high nickel, low cobalt chemistries that allow for high power, energy density, and battery life. This new production method effectively reduces the usual dependence on cobalt, while moving toward ambitious energy density objectives.
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The Technology used in the Gen1 Lithium Battery
Key to the company’s novel developments has been artificial intelligence. AI allows the company to quickly optimize cell chemistry for bespoke batteries and evaluate potential innovations, which can more quickly move them to the production line at lower costs.
The new electric vehicle battery production method is also distinctive in enabling InoBat’s EV battery customization and optimizing bespoke battery chemistries via high-throughput R&D methods. This helps produce cells for unique needs and power demands.
Battery cells can be differentiated according to vehicle and application. By leveraging this versatility, InoBat customers ensure competitive differentiation and invest in on-going improvements in battery chemistry based on the latest science and innovations.
Video Credit: InoBat Auto/YouTube.com
Essential Collaboration Between Battery and Vehicle Makers
Vehicle makers embrace batteries as a critical capability. However, it is challenging for battery makers to develop new battery systems in isolation due to market realities.
Case in point, Tesla recently purchased ultracapacitor maker Maxwell Technologies for $200 million. The acquisition gives the company superior dry electrode technology, which translates to longer battery lifetimes. The investment is also a factor for driving Tesla’s Million Mile battery project, an endeavor to boost the range of Tesla batteries from 120,000 miles to more than one million.
InoBat has said it hopes to quicken the implementation of electric transport in Europe by leveraging a completely integrated value chain, raising the European profile in the sector and enabling long-term, sustainable automotive solutions. To further this effort, InoBat plans to build a world-class battery research and electric vehicle battery production facility in Slovakia. The company is slated to start developing its AI-developed batteries in 2021 in this facility.
The 1-billion Euro, 10 GWh Gigafactory will supply advanced EV battery customization for 240,000 electric vehicles a year by 2025. The company said construction on the first production line would begin later this year, and the first batteries would be available by the end of 2021.
InoBat has obtained around $4.5 million in financial backing from the Slovakian government for the R&D side of the Gigafactory. Anticipating that the Gigafactory will make Slovakia a leader in the electric vehicle industry, the government investment has added to the initial 100-million Euro fundraising phase.
If all goes according to plan, InoBat would also make Europe a more formidable presence in the electric vehicle battery sector. According to some experts, Europe is around five years behind Asia in regards to electric vehicle battery technology, despite a massive market for the technology.
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Tesla’s “Battery Day” Event
With respect to the United States, it is difficult to discuss electric vehicles and battery technology without mentioning Tesla and Elon Musk. The electric vehicle manufacturer and its founder recently held the much-anticipated Tesla Battery Day event, where it unveiled plans on manufacturing, sourcing and raw material processing.
According to reporting on the event, Tesla founder Elon Musk described manufacturing and raw material sourcing that would reduce the cost of vehicle batteries by more than 50%. Such a cost reduction would make electric vehicles available at price points closer to those of traditional combustion engine vehicles. Musk has said that price point could be a reality within a year or so.
Musk also outlined a revolutionary plan to extract lithium from clay deposits located in Nevada, US. The lithium used to make batteries is mostly sourced from either brine deposits in South America or rock deposits in Australia.
While there are companies that are currently working on extracting lithium from clay deposits, Musk admitted Telsa would be venturing into uncharted waters from a business perspective.
Resources and Further Reading
Inobat Auto. World’s First ‘Intelligent’ Electric Vehicle Battery Unveiled by European Battery Producer InoBat Auto. [Online] Available at: https://inobatauto.eu/docs/World-first%20intelligent%20battery%20launch.pdf
Gordon, P. Battery Specialists InoBat Auto Gets €5 Million Govt. Funding for Slovakian Gigafactory. Smart Energy International. [Online] Available at: https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/storage/battery-company-inobat-auto-gets-e100-million-gigafactory-funding-boost/
InoBat Auto. [Online] Available at: https://inobatauto.eu/